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Former Bush Ethics Lawyer Richard Painter Will Run for Senate in Minnesota as a Democrat

Painter for U.S. Senate

Former George W. Bush White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter is running for Senate in Minnesota as a Democrat, mounting a challenge to interim Senator Tina Smith, who was appointed by Democratic Governor Mark Dayton to replace Al Franken. Painter was set to officially announce his candidacy Monday morning.

Painter, who up until recently was a life-long Republican, is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and his brash brand of visceral politics. As rumors about his possible candidacy began to swirl last month, Painter remained undecided on whether he would run as a Republican.

“I need to think about whether there’s a place for me” in the GOP, he said at the time. “I’m going to be considering any and all options.” Painter describes himself as “a centrist in many ways — right up the middle.”


Painter also serves as vice president of the Center for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, a watchdog group that sued Trump in December for what it perceived as violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Although the case was dismissed, ethics groups remain critical of Trump’s entanglements with his family business as he serves in the White House.

Painter vows to not take PAC money, dark money, or support from “Russian agents.”

Make no mistake, America. We are in the fight of our lives. Our democracy and our institutions are under assault. Alternative facts are being normalized. And it has to end. JOIN US and CONTRIBUTE today! No Super PACs. No Dark Money. No Russian Agents.

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    Brandon Gage

    Political Writer

    Brandon began his writing career in a hospital bed in July, 2017. His mission is to provide insight ... keep reading