Sen. David Hann is not running for state GOP chair. The influential Health and Human Services Committee chair is instead backing Brandon Sawalich for the party’s top post.
“Brandon Sawalich has stepped forward to take on this critical work,” Hann wrote in a letter to fellow Republicans on Tuesday. “With his background, he is prepared to hit the ground running and bring focus to building the party and winning elections.”
Last week Hann told PIM that he’d been approached by some Republican activists urging him to consider a bid for chair of the cash-strapped state party. Speculation among GOP insiders was that opponents of expanded gambling were pushing the Eden Prairie Republican to make a bid.
Sawalich is emerging as an early frontrunner for the post. Veteran GOP strategist Pat Shortridge, who had been considering a candidacy, is also backing Sawalich.
The only other announced challenger is Todd McIntyre. “If you desire a leader with a creative and strategic mindset, then I am your person,” McIntyre wrote to GOP delegates in a letter announcing his candidacy.