Minnesota law allows inmate to vie for U.S. Senate seat

Published 8:44 pm Friday, July 13, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS — A prison inmate serving a life term for two murders is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota. And it’s legal under Minnesota law.

The Star Tribune reports that state law bars inmates from running for state-level offices, but not for federal office.

Leonard Richards was convicted of killing his half-sister, May Wilson, in 1982, and of fatally shooting his lawyer, Robert Stratton, in 1987. The 75-year-old has unsuccessfully sought federal office several times.

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Stratton’s sister said the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office told her it couldn’t keep Richards off the ballot. A legal adviser for the office said courts have ruled that the agency can’t prohibit a felon, even a prisoner, from filing an affidavit of candidacy.

Stratton’s sister said she wants voters to know Richards’ history. She also intends to ask lawmakers to change the requirements.