Ellison and McCollum rout challengers

This will be Ellison’s third term representing the 5th District.


DFL incumbents Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, representing MinnesotaâÄôs 4th and 5th Congressional Districts respectively, won their districts with landslide victories Tuesday.

Ellison beat Republican Joel Demos by a 43-point margin. This will be EllisonâÄôs third term representing the 5th District, which includes Minneapolis and the south metro.

“We got a lot of work to do âĦ we are strong, we cannot be defeated!” Ellison said to cheers at the DFL election night party at the Minneapolis Hilton.

Ellison came on stage to the crowd chanting his name. In his victory speech, he said financial institutions should not take advantage of people and that college should be more affordable.

He added that college affordability and engaging young people will be a priority.

“We are going to strengthen the student voice,” he said.

In 2008, Ellison recorded a 48.9 point victory over GOP candidate Barb Davis White âÄî the largest margin of victory for a one-term incumbent in Minnesota history.

Ellison became the first black U.S. representative from Minnesota and the first Muslim to be elected to Congress when he took over for DFL Rep. Martin Olav Sabo in 2006. He was born and raised Roman Catholic in Detroit.

Graduating from Wayne State University in Detroit with a degree in economics, Ellison, 47, received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1990.

In 2007, Ellison was a cosponsor to impeach then Vice President Dick Cheney for using manipulated intelligence to justify military involvement in Iraq.

He is also known for being one of five U.S. representatives arrested for civil disobedience while protesting actions by the Sudanese president.

Demos, who finished with 24 percent of the vote, ran his campaign on reducing taxes for families and businesses.

“WeâÄôve gone into a lot of Keith Ellison neighborhoods and found people disappointed with the way heâÄôs done things, and changed the discussion,” Demos said.

Ellison, who held a clear advantage in fundraising, had raised more than $1.2 million as of October, compared to Demos, who raised $67,000 overall.

In MinnesotaâÄôs 4th District, McCollum defeated Republican Teresa Collett by a 24-point margin, securing her seat for a sixth term.

McCollum has held the 4th DistrictâÄôs seat since 2000. She was only the second woman from Minnesota elected to Congress. She serves on the House Appropriations and House Budget Committees.

While failing to win the majority of the vote in 2000, McCollum still managed to defeat Republican opponent Linda Runbeck and Independence Party candidate Tom Foley.

The DFL has controlled the 4th District, which includes St. Paul and the east metro, since 1948.

McCollum, 56, was born in South St. Paul and attended St. Catherine University in Minneapolis before teaching high school social science and working in retails sales and management.

Fundraising was meager in the race but McCollum still dominated by raising a total of $757,000. Collett raised $136,000.

Collett, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas, ran on a platform of a more limited government and encouraged job creation in the private sector through innovation and reform.

“IâÄôm optimistic that our students will come to see the advantages of the free market, and they will,” Collett said, despite her loss.

Both McCollum and Ellison were in attendance at the DFL election night party.