ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison says he'll resign his seat in Congress if he's elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Ellison announced his plans to run for the party's top spot after Democrats were rocked in the November election. The Minneapolis Democrat is one of few candidates and has the backing of major party figures.

But the specter of dual roles has been a hold up. Ellison said in a statement Wednesday he'd resign his seat to focus on the party's rebuild if he wins the chairmanship in February.

Ellison will begin his sixth term in Congress in January. He was the nation's first Muslim congressman.

Gov. Mark Dayton would have to call a special election to replace Ellison. Several Democratic state lawmakers have expressed interest.

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