An unusually large number of legislators and prominent Minnesota politicos are opting to run in county commissioner races across the state.
Longtime GOP operative Pat Shortridge, Second Congressional District Republican chairman Terry McCall and activist Todd McIntyre have all announced campaigns. Candidates will participate in a forum on Thursday at the Wentworth Library in West St. Paul.
The field for state Republican Party chair remains in flux. On Tuesday veteran GOP strategist Pat Shortridge announced that he is seeking the post.
Brandon Sawalich's abrupt exit from the GOP chair contest -- following his brief arrest for expired license tabs and questions about a sexual harassment lawsuit settlement -- has left the field wide open.
On Dec. 31 Republican activists from across the state will gather in St. Cloud to elect a new party chair. The meeting will cap a tumultuous end to 2011 for the state GOP. Earlier this month Tony Sutton suddenly resigned from the party’s top post. Revelations soon followed that the party is likely more than $1 million in debt.
Sawalich, who made an unsuccessful bid for the position in 2009, announced the news on his Twitter feed this morning.
In late November, a group of roughly two dozen Republican activists gathered at a residence in Edina to discuss the future of the state Republican Party. The meeting included a broad cross-section of the GOP’s notoriously fractious base.
If you hear political activists calling for change in the 2012 state House and Senate elections, you won’t be faulted for thinking that the rhetoric must be coming from DFLers. After all, Democrats lost control of both chambers in a 2010 election that saw a conservative tide roll across Minnesota and the rest of the country.
When Republicans from around the state flocked to the Ramada Mall of America last Saturday, there appeared to be little question who would win the race to replace Brian Sullivan as Minnesota's man on the Republican National Committee.
In their efforts to assemble and pass an all-cuts budget, Republican legislative leaders have found themselves engaged in a session-long game of whack-a-mole within their own caucuses. Pockets of discord continue to surface periodically within Republican legislative ranks, compelling the leadership to defuse tensions. Now, however, the pressures are coming from the caucuses' right flank.
Rep. Mary Franson is among the most staunchly conservative members of the GOP freshmen class. Last week she raised eyebrows as the only Republican to vote against the health and human services finance bill in committee.
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