Congressman Keith Ellison to run for attorney general in Minnesota

(Reuters) - U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, a Democratic National Committee official and the first Muslim elected to Congress, on Tuesday launched his campaign for attorney general of Minnesota.

Ellison, 54, a longtime and vocal critic of Republican U.S. President Donald Trump, filed the necessary paperwork to run for election as his home state’s top lawyer.

Since Trump took office, several attorneys general have banded together for court battles against his policies on immigration, the environment, women’s reproductive health, internet regulation and other issues.

“No one - not even a president - is above the law,” Ellison, a congressman since 2007, said in a statement announcing his candidacy for Minnesota attorney general.

“From immigration reform to protecting our air and water, it has never been more important to have a leader as attorney general who can stand up against threats to our neighbors’ health or freedoms,” he said.

Ellison, who is vice chairman of the DNC, promised his constituents would gain a fighter determined to vanquish fraud and abuse for students, consumers, renters and others and champion workers’ rights, Ellison said.

“As attorney general, I will push for equal rights under the law, for common-sense gun safety laws, and for criminal justice reform that ends unjust policies and creates a pathway for Minnesotans to re-enter as contributing members of society,” he said in his statement.

Ellison’s challengers in the race include state Representative Debra Hilstrom, and Mike Hatch, who previously served two terms as state attorney general, both members of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party.

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis