When Keith Ellison started his bid to become Minnesota's next attorney general, he had formidable advantages.
An outspoken progressive who had served in Congress for more than a decade, Mr. Ellison was one of the most recognizable politicians in the state. As deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he had a national profile that has helped him raise nearly twice as much money as his Republican challenger, Doug Wardlow, a lawyer. On top of that, there was history: Minnesota has not elected a Republican attorney general since 1966.
But in recent weeks, Mr. Ellison's edge appears to be evaporating, amid claims by his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, that he mistreated her during their long-term relationship. Ms. Monahan has accused him of causing emotional pain through infidelity and dishonesty when they were a couple and said he had once tried to drag her off a bed after an argument while screaming obscenities at her.