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Former state rep. out of race for GOP chair due to COVID infection

Jim Newberger had been aiming to replace the recently-resigned Jennifer Carnahan.

One of the candidates running to become next chair of the Minnesota GOP has apparently withdrawn due to a "persistent COVID concern."

Jim Newberger, the former state representative for House District 15B who ran against Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the 2018 midterms, has apparently withdrawn from the race to replace Jennifer Carnahan, who was recently forced out of the role.

The reason given by Senate District 49 Republicans was that Newberger has "had a persistent Covid concern and will remain focused on his local area for now."

This was confirmed on Newberger's Facebook page via a post that was later shared on Twitter. 

In it, Newberger said: "I have continued to struggle with Covid and simply do not have the energy to keep pushing forward. I am making a slow recovery and will be okay. There is a reason why God gave me an immune system."

He notes that due to his COVID infection, he would not be able to campaign face-to-face for risk of infecting someone, noting that he still has five days of quarantine to observe.

Newberger's most recent post on Twitter from September 6 shows him outside the Minnesota GOP booth at the Minnesota State Fair. 

CDC guidelines in the case of a positive COVID-19 test state people must quarantine until their symptoms are better, it's been 10 days since they first felt sick, and they've had no fever for at least the last 24 hours.

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He is throwing his support behind former state senator David Hann, who represented Eden Prairie and Minnetonka for 14 years. He added that there are "no bad candidates in this race."

The GOP is seeking to replace Carnahan, who resigned under a cloud last month after the arrest and indictment of Republican strategist Anton Lazzaro – with whom she was close – for child sex trafficking, which in turn saw a flood of party members come forward about the Minnesota GOP's poor handling of sexual misconduct and harassment complaints under Carnahan's leadership.

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