SOMERVILLE, NJ – Following Minnesota Attorney General and former Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee Keith Ellison’s appearance as a ‘special guest’ at the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women Annual Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner, leaders across the county released a statement expressing outrage over Ellison’s appearance and demanding an apology to women across Somerset.

Ellison has been accused by multiple girlfriends of verbal and physical abuse, including being accused by Austin Monahan, the son of Ellison’s ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan of “…dragging my mama off the bed by her feet.” 

“Domestic violence is never acceptable and it takes a truly sick person to lay hands on their loved ones. I’m incredibly disheartened by the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women’s invitation to have Mr. Ellison appear as a special guest at their Annual Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner,” said Somerset County Deputy Freeholder Director Patricia Walsh.

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“I’ve championed elevating the status of women throughout my entire career, and to see how tone deaf the Democrats are by extending an invite to Mr. Ellison infuriates me. Today, I’m calling on Somerset County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Peg Schaffer and my opponent, Melonie Marano, to denounce Mr. Ellison’s appearance and apologize to the women of Somerset.” 

Walsh, a Republican, is running for reelection against Marano, a Democrat.

During his campaign for Attorney General of Minnesota, Ellison’s campaign was rocked by scandal as Ms. Monahan had the courage to step forward and detail allegations of domestic abuse at the hands of Ellison. Ms. Monahan was allegedly dragged out of bed by Ellison while he cursed at her. Additionally, it has been alleged that in 2006, Ellison pushed, shoved and verbally abused his then-girlfriend Amy Alexander. 

“It takes true courage to step forward and stare down one’s accuser. Eleanor Roosevelt was a champion of women’s rights  and chaired the Kennedy administration’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women – unfortunately, I can only imagine how she would feel knowing her dinner was headlined by an individual with a  track record of domestic violence,” added Somerset County Republican Organization (SCRO) Executive Director Janet Linnus. 

“A history of allegations of domestic violence should be enough to have any organization steer clear of the accused,” said Walsh. “I’m upset, appalled, and most importantly shocked, that the Democrats would even consider inviting Ellison.”