Richard Painter, a former White House chief ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush and a frequent Trump critic, will seek the Democratic Senate nomination in Minnesota. Tina Smith, the former Minnesota lieutenant governor, in a primary.
Sen. Karin Housley, the Republican candidate for the seat, criticized Painter's stance on Trump.
Painter's decision to run as a Democrat means he will face off against sitting Sen.
Painter, 56, at the press conference announcing his bid called for people to "stand firm against what President Trump is threatening to do to our country".
Painter is the S. Walter Richey professor of corporate law at the University of Minnesota.
"The problem in the Republican Party is that they have made it very clear that nobody is welcome to be a candidate for national office that does not support Donald Trump", Painter said, "I'm out of the Republican Party, I'm fed up".
Pledging to accept no money from political action committees, Painter criticized both parties for a lack of attention to ethics and campaign finance reform, as well as failing to more strictly regulate banks.
Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan released the following statement, in part: "Richard Painter's candidacy appears motivated by a hatred towards President Trump".
"I'm running against Donald Trump and every one of his collaborators in the Republican party", Painter said. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenEx-Bush ethics official to run for Franken's former Senate seat as Dem: report Even for TV "royalty" Brokaw, "MeToo" claim is legacy-killer Dems look to keep up momentum in upcoming special elections MORE's (D-Minn) seat after he resigned under the cloud of sexual harassment allegations.
"Our democracy is at stake", he said.
On MSNBC Monday, he explained why he's decided to make his first foray into electoral politics and why he is running so passionately against the Republican Party. Which means that if Painter wants to run a vanity campaign through November, he's going to have to run as an independent. She did not comment on Painter's announcement Monday, although a campaign staffer did. The case was dismissed in December.