Torgerson announced her candidacy on the Tea Party Nation website, where she called Ellison a "radical Islamist" who "fails to oppose banning Islamic Sharia law in the United States," reported the Minnesota Independent.
Ellison responded by accusing Torgerson of planning "a campaign based on hate, division, and fear," according to MnIndy.
Bedrock or Supreme?
On Tuesday, Torgerson appeared on MSNBC's The Ed Show, with substitute host Al Sharpton interviewing her. (.)
Much of the interview centered on a video of Torgerson asking Ellison about the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution or Sharia law in the United States. () Torgerson told Sharpton that Ellison saying the Constitution is "bedrock" was not the same as saying it is "supreme."
Ellison (DFL-5th District) became the first Muslim to be elected to Congress in 2006.
Torgerson is a criminal defense attorney in private practice in Minneapolis, whose cases sometimes make headlines, as was the case this week in Duluth and in 2009 when she scored a rare federal-court reversal of a Minnesota Supreme Court decision.
In 2010, Torgerson garnered 3.74 percent of the votes in the general election. Ellison had nearly 68 percent. Republican Joe Demos got 24.14 percent.