by Briana Bierschbach
Published: October 27, 2013
Tags: Bill Ingebrigtsen, Brad Biers, Dave Senjem, Jeff Johnson, Jim Abeler, John Howe, Julianne Ortman, Mike McFadden, Pat Shortridge, Phil Krinkie, Rhonda Sivarajah, Scott Dutcher, Scott Honour, Tom Emmer, Torrey Westrom
Republican candidates and activists filed into the National Sports Center in Blaine on Saturday to participate in a preliminary straw poll of candidates in the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson won the gubernatorial poll with 35 percent of the vote, and state Sen. Julianne Ortman won the U.S. Senate poll with 37 percent of the vote.
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.
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.
The first Republican to launch a campaign for Minnesota governor in 2014 immediately changed the dynamics for all other candidates who would follow him. In April, Orono businessman Scott Honour became the first candidate openly seeking the office, promising to bring an outsider’s perspective to the job.
by Charley Shaw and Briana Bierschbach
Published: June 19, 2013
Tags: Al DeKruif, Al Franken, Jim Abeler, Jim Knoblach, John Pederson, Julianne Ortman, Julie Rosen, Matt Dean, Michele Bachmann, Mike Parry, Pat Shortridge, Rhonda Sivarajah, Tim Walz, Tom Emmer
When Republican members of the Legislature return to St. Paul next year and compare notes on what they did during the interim, a growing number will say they launched campaigns for Congress.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour has announced a team of GOP operatives for his recently announced campaign. The Wayzata businessman has hired several well-known Minnesota Republicans to work on his 2014 bid.
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.
Veteran GOP activist Bonn Clayton knowingly disseminated false information about the state Republican Party's stance on judicial elections in 2012, a three judge panel has ruled. Clayton was issued a $1,200 fine for violating state campaign finance laws.
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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