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Group of conservatives wants MN GOP to distance itself from Trump

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Donald Trump has all but locked up the Republican Party's presidential nomination. But a group of conservatives in Minnesota says that doesn't mean the state GOP has to support him.

Conservatives for Candidates of Character is hoping to convince the Minnesota Republican Party to formally repudiate the likely nominee at their state convention in Duluth (which starts Friday).

They created a Facebook page that has 108 likes at this point, and posted a document for local Republians to fill out, outlining their position.

There are two big concerns, the group's social media coordinator Jake Giese told BringMeTheNews.

  1. Trump's character, notably derogatory comments he's made toward women (such as Megyn Kelly and Heidi Cruz) during the campaign.
  2. His policies, which have been inconsistent over the years and can be more in line with liberal views, rather than following traditional conservative values.

"I mean, I think the feeling from a lot of us character-wise is, really? This is who we want to represent conservatism?" he said.

The group wants to address this through motions at the party convention, and part of that involves money.

Conservatives for Candidates of Character plans to propose a motion that will prohibit the Minnesota GOP from using any money to help the Trump campaign – a "prohibition on GOP expenditures," as it says – with things like paying field staffers, Giese explained. The group wants that money to only be spent in Minnesota state Legislature races.

To do that, they'll have to convince 50 percent-plus-1 at the convention to vote in favor of the motion. It'll be a voice vote at first, but if it's close, they can do a thorough headcount.

The move could also be politically smart for conservative state House and Senate candidates who want to distance themselves from Trump. In U.S. Senate races, Democrats across the country have been tying opponents to Trump, hoping to make his divisiveness rub off on Republican Senate hopefuls, CNN reported.

And so far, Minnesota voters haven't been overly favorable to Trump.

What Giese said Conservatives for Candidates of Character is hoping for is unity within the state party: Yes, maybe some people disagree about Trump – but they can still work together to support conservative candidates in Minnesota.

The Pioneer Press has reaction from the chair of the state's Republican Party, Keith Downey, as well as a Minnesota member of the Trump campaign.

"We’re not discouraging people form supporting Trump personally," Giese said. "We just think, going back to his character and his support for his liberal policies, do we as a party really want to have that around our necks come November?

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