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.
That dubious distinction was earned by the state GOP’s ongoing debt troubles ($1.7 million as of the end of February) and near eviction from party headquarters last year. The party’s woes stem in large part from bills accrued during the 2010 gubernatorial recount. Then-party chair Tony Sutton resigned at the end of 2010 and it was subsequently revealed that the party was on the hook for nearly $2 million in unpaid bills.
Roll Call does note that the party stanched its financial bloodletting under former chair Pat Shortridge. That positive direction appears to be continuing under current chair Keith Downey.
But the beltway publication also points out that the party’s continuing troubles are particularly worrisome for Republicans because of key contests that loom in 2014. “The party has incredible opportunities in 2014, with a gubernatorial race, a Senate race and two competitive [U.S.] House seats up for grabs,” Roll Call notes. “But it’s unlikely the party can help its candidates, given its current condition.”