MANKATO, MN

With Lori Swanson backing out of the attorney general race in favor of running for governor, the DFL campaign trail is heating up with a number of candidates vying for the nomination.

A number of those candidates have stopped by KEYC News 12s studio to give their pitch to secure your vote.

Earlier this afternoon, Matt Pelikan came by.

Pelikan is a private practicing attorney in the Twin Cities area, he's had years of experience working on political campaigns around the nation and feels he is right for the position of attorney general.

"For far too long there has been too much economic and political power going into the hands of too few and I believe the attorney general, who represents all Minnesotans, has a special responsibility to fight for people who don't already have great lawyers, who don't have lobbyists on speed–dial," said Pelikan.

Mike Rothman is a former Minnesota Senate staffer who spent years working on insurance regulation.

Rothman oversaw regulations of more than 20 industries as Commerce Commissioner and acted as the watchdog for consumers in his role at the Senate.

"I'm campaigning all over the state of Minnesota to get out and talk to people, to find out and listen to them about what is important," explained Rothman.  "The bottom line is among all the candidates in the race I have the strongest experience, from day one I'll be ready to protect Minnesotan's and work hard for Minnesota families."

Nine–term DFL state Representative Debra Hilstrom has previously worked with the attorney general's office to pass legislation protecting consumers in the state.

"I've served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for the last 18 years, working on issues of consumer protection and public safety," said Hilstrom.  "I've chaired the judiciary committee, I've served on the commerce committee and I've been a prosecutor for the Anoka County Attorney's Office.  I resigned that position to run full–time for Attorney General.  I believe that Minnesotans need a strong voice in the Attorney General's office, and I bring experience both in passing public policy as well as being in the court room."

Keith Ellison has been the Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district since 2007 and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee since 2017.

Today, Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Ellison and explained why he would benefit Minnesotans. 

“He can play a more effective role in fighting for workers, farmers, fighting for consumers, fighting for small business, fighting for women’s rights, for health care and for equal protection under the law," said Sanders.

Primaries for the election are being held August 14th while the general election is held November 6th.

--KEYC News 12