Daudt holds off 'no confidence' vote from district GOP leaders


Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt was able to hold off a "no confidence" vote from GOP activists in the east central Minnesota district.

The Star Tribune reports District 31 Republicans were upset that Daudt had not spoken with them about his recent brief arrest in Montana and for failing to meet their expectations that he would lead the party on a path of fiscal conservatism.

Before the Tuesday meeting, Chairman of the District 31 Republicans, Dan Denno, told the Star Tribune, "We feel that he does not have our best interest in mind."

But Daudt, R-Crown, unexpectedly showed up at the meeting where the GOP activists were planning to hold the vote Tuesday.

Following that meeting, district GOP officials felt differently.

According to the Associated Press, Tony Crego, one of the Republican leaders at the meeting, said afterwards they no longer felt the vote was needed.

Daudt told the Star Tribune Wednesday he thinks the issue Tuesday night had less to do with what happened in Montana than it was voting stuff.

"I come from a very conservative (district) and they have expectations of their members," Daudt told the Star Tribune.

Two weeks ago, though, Daudt publicly acknowledged he had been involved in a gun-related dispute in Montana, while on a trip with a friend to pick up an antique truck last fall. The sale went bad after Daudt took issue with how the truck drove and the disagreement became heated.

Daudt's friend, identified as Daniel Benjamin Weinzetl of Cambridge, retrieved the handgun from Daudt's car and "pointed it" at the seller and his family, according to court documents.

The gun had bullets in the magazine but not the chamber and was never fired, according to an interview Daudt gave to KSTP.

Daudt called the incident an "unfortunate situation" and said he was in the role of "peacemaker." He has not been charged with a crime from the incident, his friend is facing three felony charges.

Daudt told the Star Tribune, "I think they were happy that I spent time with them last night. I also get tugged at from every corner of the state and I am very very busy and while I try to keep in touch with them as much as I can. It's sometimes not as much as I'd like."

Had the "no confidence" vote occurred there would not have been any specific consequences from the result. But it would have reflected that local party leaders lacked faith in him.

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