by Briana Bierschbach
Published: October 26, 2013
Tags: Bron Scherer, Chris Dahlberg, Dave Thompson, Harold Shudlick, Jeff Johnson, Jim Abeler, Julianne Ortman, Keith Downey, Kurt Zellers, Mart Seifert, Mike McFadden, Monti Moreno, Republican Party of Minnesota, Rob Farnsworth, Scott Honour
Johnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner, and Ortman, a state senator from Chanhassen, placed first in candidate straw polls cast by Republican Party of Minnesota activists gathered at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Saturday. Johnson beat five other Republican candidates for governor with 35 percent of the vote, with state Sen. Dave Thompson coming in second with 27 percent of the vote.
Former U.S. representative and senator Rod Grams, who rose to politics after years as a television anchor, died on Tuesday at the age of 65. Grams, who suffered from cancer, had been in hospice care at his home in Crown, Minnesota for the last several weeks.
Sitting in his St. Paul office overlooking the Minnesota state Capitol, Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Keith Downey says there was a point in his life when, in his “wildest dreams,” he never would have imagined sitting at the helm of a state political party.
Former Long Lake Mayor Randy Gilbert is the only announced Republican challenger
The Republican Party of Minnesota may be clawing its way back to relevance. But its problems remain significant enough to land it on Roll Call's list of the most dysfunctional state political parties.
by Kevin Featherly
Published: July 10, 2013
Tags: Ann Lenczewski, Arne Carlson, Dean Johnson, Dennis Maetzold, Eric Eskola, Keith Downey, Kevin Staunton, Matt Shands, Melisa Franzen, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Legislature, MnDOT, Paul Rosenthal, Paul Thissen, Ron Erhardt, Tim Pawlenty, Transportation Economic Development
Now a DFLer, will Ron Erhardt also annoy his new party?
by Paul Demko
Published: July 2, 2013
Tags: Gary Goldschmidt, Keith Downey, Ken Martin, Mark Dayton, Michelle Benson, Minnesota DFL, PCR, political contribution refund program, Republican Party of Minnesota, Tony Sutton
Republicans have traditionally opposed Minnesota’s political contribution refund program, which was reinstated on Monday when the state’s new biennial budget took effect. In fact, it was GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty who successfully proposed scrapping the program four years ago. But despite their dislike for state-subsidized political contributions, Republican candidates and party units disproportionately benefited from the program during the two decades that it was in place.
by Paul Demko
Published: April 6, 2013
Tags: Bill Paulsen, Bonn Clayton, Chris Fields, Corey Sax, Don Allen, Keith Downey, Kelly Fenton, Kurt Daudt, Pat Shortridge, Ryan Love
Former state Rep. Keith Downey easily won a four-way contest for Republican Party chair on Saturday. Downey took 228 votes on the first ballot -- or two thirds of the total cast.
by Paul Demko
Published: March 27, 2013
Tags: Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Golnik, Bill Guidera, Dave Thompson, Jesse Ventura, Keith Downey, Kurt Bills, Laura Brod, Mark Dayton, Norm Coleman, Pat Shortridge, Pete Hegseth, Tim Pawlenty, Tom Erickson
Republicans are mired in an extended losing streak in statewide political contests. Since 2006, when Gov. Tim Pawlenty won re-election with 47 percent of the vote, Republicans have been shut out. That dubious streak reached a nadir of sorts last year, when U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar won re-election by nearly 35 percentage points over GOP challenger Kurt Bills.
Downey announced his plan in an email blast to activists on Thursday morning, calling for a "redesign" of the debt-plagued state GOP party. Current GOP Party Chairman Pat Shortridge has said he will step down from the position when his term ends in the spring.
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