Skip to main content

Former state GOP chair Tony Sutton, wife, file for personal bankruptcy

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Former state Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton has declared personal bankruptcy, the Star Tribune reports.

The paper calls the Chapter 7 filing "the latest twist in one of the most dramatic political downfalls in recent state history." They described the former GOP head as a "hard-charging" leader who told both DFL and GOP lawmakers to "live within your means."

According to his filing, Sutton and his wife, Bridget Sutton, owe $2.1 million.

The debt includes $70,000 in credit card debt and $20,000 in federal student loans, unpaid state and federal taxes. The Suttons also reportedly owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in unsecured personal loans to cover business expenses.

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, debtors ask the court to discharge all or most of their unsecured debt.

Bridget Sutton, an Inver Grove Heights school board member and former Republican operative, is currently undergoing divorce proceedings with her estranged husband, the paper says.

Some of the Suttons' debt is to well-known names in Republican circles.

The Star Tribune says at the time of the bankruptcy filing, the Suttons had no life or health insurance.

MinnPost reports that Sutton, who was the CEO of the Baja Sol restaurant chain while serving as party chair from 2009 to 2011, didn't take a salary from the state GOP until July 2011 -- when it was disclosed he'd be paid $100,000 a year.

Next Up

University of minnesota sign

U of M gives some students 50% off meals for September after complaints

Students have complained about an array of issues surrounding dining halls.


Gallery: Sprawling estate near Superior National Forest listed for $2.9M

The property has been in the same family for over 60 years.

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 2.51.49 PM

Surgery clinic proposed to replace 111-year-old farmhouse in Eagan

A developer is proposing to transform the remnant farm property.

Hurricane Ian

Why Hurricane Ian could be catastrophic in Florida

Hurricanes are the atmosphere’s biggest show of force and energy, and Hurricane Ian is no exception.


Suspect arrested after man and dog shot on St. Paul's East Side

The shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.


Bemidji police appeal to find missing teenager

Tahlia Poitra was last seen Wednesday.


Crisp & Green owner launches new chain, with 12 MN locations planned

Steele Brands already owns and operates Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade.


New vendor to open at Rosedale Center food hall

POTLUCK Food Hall offers a rotating collection of local restaurants and food retailers.


Woman charged in drunk driving incident that killed Minnetonka HS alum

Nate Stratton, 20, died from his injuries on Sept. 18.


Former state GOP chair won't face charges, prosecutor says

St. Paul City Attorney Sarah Grewing said Friday that she won't pursue criminal charges against former Minnesota Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton for fundraising irregularities. The matter has already led to fines against Sutton and the GOP. Gerwig wrote in a letter to The Associated Press that it would be hard to prove Sutton was willfully violating a state law.

Former GOP chair on party debt: "Worth it"

Just hours after Republican officials declared the party $2 million in debt, former party leader Tony Sutton released a statement on his Facebook page saying the numbers reflect a hard fought election and campaign cycle, but that Minnesota is better off because of it.

Chairman Tony Sutton's spending led way to GOP's debt

Minnesota Public Radio reports Sutton was giving out hundreds of thousands of dollars to contractors and consultants with close ties to the party even as donations started to slow. Now, with the state GOP struggling under $2 million of debt, leaders are worried donors large and small will take their checkbooks elsewhere.