Koch scandal another in a series of blows to state GOP

Minnesota's Grand Old Party has taken numerous hits recently as key party members resign and debt issues loom.

Senate Majority Leader

Amy Koch surprise resignation from her Senate Majority Leader seat amid allegations of an improper relationship with a Senate staffer comes after a tough couples of weeks for the state GOP. Koch's replacement, Sen. Geoff Michel of Edina, says Koch's chief aide, Michael Brodkorb has also left his job. Brodkorb is an outspoken conservative activist and also campaign manager for First District GOP candidate Michael Parry. Michel doesn't say whether Brodkorb's exit was his own decision.

The resignations come as a leading contender for the state Republican party's chairmanship dropped out of the race to be GOP Chair contender, following his arrest for unpaid license fee. The police arrested Brandon Sawalich based on a clerical error and later reduced the charge, but Sawalich says didn't want to be more of a distraction.

That isn't the only Republican, airport-related trouble in Minnesota. St. Bonifacius City Councilman Joe Arwood, a GOP challenger for Democrat Amy Klobuchar's Senate seat, admitted he pleaded guilty in 2005 to bringing a loaded handgun through airport security. He didn't have a permit for the gun.

State party officials already faced enough setbacks after Tony Sutton abruptly stepped down as party chair, leaving Republicans more than a half million dollars in debt.

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