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After intense campaign, Jennifer Carnahan reelected MN GOP chair

This will be her third term leading Minnesota Republicans.

Jennifer Carnahan has emerged victorious from a contentious battle to continue leading Minnesota's Republican Party. 

On Saturday, Carnahan was elected to a third term as chair of the MN GOP, beating challenger Mark Koran, who's currently a state senator. 

Following her victory, Carnahan thanked her party for "always leading with hope, a positivity and a kind spirit":

This is in contrast to the fierce nature of the campaign. According to the Star Tribune, she came under fire from other top party leaders, with one accusing her of using "fear to intimidate and silence her opponents," and another alleging "prolonged financial negligence" with respect to a contract between the party and digital fundraising vendor WinRed, which has been the subject of allegations of deceptive practices in the way it signed up Republican supporters for recurring donations.

The paper says the feud carried over all the way to the Republican National Committee, with Carnahan and her adversaries making further accusations against one another to RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel.

Carnahan's win is also despite a string of statewide GOP losses under her watch, with Gov. Tim Walz beating Jeff Johnson in 2018, Attorney General Keith Ellison defeating Doug Wardlow in the same year, Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith retaining their seats on the U.S. Senate, and Joe Biden increasing the Democrats' margin over Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Nonetheless, Carnahan — who's served in her role since 2017 — won reelection with 67 percent on the first ballot, MPR reports. 

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She came under scrutiny following the 2020 election when she made baseless claims that Minnesota's vote was "suspicious." In response, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon's office effectively challenged her to bring any complaints she had through the legal system.

“It's hard to respond to allegations that are so vague and unformed," a statement said. "The bottom line is you can't just throw out conjecture and guesswork without real evidence. The place to raise issue with elections administration is through the court system, not social media.”

Carnahan, who's married to 1st District Rep. Jim Hagedorn, is a small business owner in addition to her work as MN GOP chair. 

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