Publish date:

MN GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan will seek reelection

Carnahan was first elected to the position in 2017.

Minnesota GOP party Chair Jennifer Carnahan will seek reelection, she announced Thursday.

Carnahan, who was an unlikely winner as the party chair in the 2017 election, will face an opponent in the form of State Sen. Mark Koran, arguing the party needs "new direction and overhaul."

In her announcement, Carnahan lists among her accomplishments helping the GOP flip three U.S. House seats in the past two elections – the 1st, 7th, and 8th Districts.

But the GOP continues its run of failing to win a statewide election, 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.

“When I first ran for the MN GOP Chair position in 2017, I walked into an organization plagued with debt and division. Since then, we've paid off our legacy debt, expanded our organization to become more inclusive and invested in our grassroots," Carnahan said in a statement.

"Our party is stronger than we were four years ago and I'm running again because I believe it's important to build on the successes we've achieved, keep stable leadership in place and ensure our party remains on the right track as we head into the 2022 elections.”

Carnahan - who is married to 1st District Rep. Jim Hagedorn – was a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump during the 2020 election cycle. She campaigned in key states including Michigan, Florida and Nevada as a board member for the Asian Pacific Americans for Trump. She also supported two House races in California, which flipped from Democratic to Republican control.

But she has come under increased scrutiny since the Nov. 3 election by contributing to the falsehood that the election was fraudulent, posting a vague tweet about there being "extreme data abnormalities" about Minnesota's vote that was not backed up by any evidence.

She had also previously suggested she would back MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for a gubernatorial run in Minnesota, a pledge of apparent support that convinced Koran to run against her.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Nonetheless Carnahan retains backing from many Minnesota Republicans,  with 5th Congressional District Chair Paul Anderson saying: "For our party to continue to grow and widen our tent, it's important to have voices and faces like Chairwoman Carnahan's out front and center."

Carnahan was also one of the Minnesota GOP leaders to join an effort to overturn the 2020 election results following Trump’s defeat. Carnahan made unfounded claims of data abnormalities in the election results, drawing criticism from officials including Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

But after a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, in which a mob of rioters attempted to stop the certification of election results, Carnahan condemned the attacks and called for a peaceful transition of power. 

Next Up

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.


Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Jamal Smith

New 1st-degree murder charge for man accused in youth coach's killing

A grand jury indicted the suspect in connection with the shooting of Jay Boughton.

trick or treating halloween

COVID: Mayo Clinic's tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

A layered approach, especially for those who aren't vaccinated, is recommended.


'My patience level is gone': Walz calls on lawmakers to help hospital strain

The governor said only legislators can enact some of the needed measures.


Jeep driver dies after hitting two deer, rolling into oncoming vehicle

As the SUV rolled, it struck another vehicle approaching the other direction.

carver county dog

Family's dog 'senselessly' killed with arrow in Carver County

The beloved dog was shot with an arrow on Tuesday.


jennifer carnahan

After intense campaign, Jennifer Carnahan reelected MN GOP chair

This will be her third term leading Minnesota Republicans.

jennifer carnahan

GOP statement on alleged sex harassment sparks new controversy for Carnahan

The statement revealed that Carnahan had been aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct made against a GOP staffer for months.

jennifer carnahan

Jennifer Carnahan out as MN GOP chair, reportedly gets 3 months severance

In a statement, she blamed 'mob mentality' for her ouster.

jennifer carnahan

4 former MN GOP executive directors call on Carnahan to resign

An increasing number of current and former party executives are calling for the embattled chairwoman to step down.

Jim Hagedorn, Jennifer Carnahan, Anton Lazzaro.

Calls for MN GOP chair Jennifer Carnahan to resign over links to Anton Lazzaro

There have been calls from Republicans for Jennifer Carnahan to resign.

jennifer carnahan

More elected Republicans urging embattled GOP chair Carnahan to resign

It's over her close connection to Anton Lazzaro, who's accused of child sex trafficking.

jennifer carnahan

Ousted MN GOP chair mulls return to politics, possible run for governor

Jennifer Carnahan resigned over an associate's sex trafficking indictment.