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Associated Press, Published April 23 2010

Minn. Democrats back Ritchie, Otto, Swanson

DULUTH, Minn. — Minnesota Democrats want to re-elect Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Lori Swanson and State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

The three constitutional officers got their party's endorsement on Friday.

Ritchie, who oversees elections, is a frequent target of conservative criticism. He had a key role in the U.S. Senate recount between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman in 2008.

As the state's top lawyer, Swanson has drawn attacks recently from Republicans for standing with the federal health care overhaul. Early in her first term, she clashed with a state employees union over the status of employees in her office.

Otto monitors spending by local governments.

Republicans have stepped forward to challenge all three incumbents.

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