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.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

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.

Next Up

Flickr - state capitol minneosta - Ken Lund

Criminal charges possible for woman who drove on State Capitol grounds

She drove on the sidewalk and lawn, and at one point waved a large "Trump 2020" flag out the window.

training camp

10 things fans should know before going to Vikings training camp

Masks are not required, but strongly encouraged for the unvaccinated.

4852014184_b86eb6b123_k

Cases of COVID-19 linked to Provincetown outbreak found in Minnesota

There have been more than 550 cases linked to the Massachusetts tourist destination since the 4th of July weekend.

Aaron Rodgers

Reports: Aaron Rodgers set for at least one more year with the Packers

Both sides showing signs of optimism just before training camp begins.

Twitter - KARE 11 jeopardy screengrab

KARE 11 crew teases upcoming 'Jeopardy!' cameo

Some familiar local faces will be providing contestants with "Minneapolis News" clues.

Screen Shot 2021-07-26 at 1.41.24 PM

Second victim of deadly crash in Orono is identified

The crash also was fatal for the son of Gophers hockey coach Bob Motzko.

Witzmann and Coleman

Ex-Viking and ex-Gopher could be contestants for Edina's 'Bachelorette'

Michelle Young, a teacher from Edina, is the show's Season 18 star.

Mayo clinic

Mayo Clinic will require COVID-19 vaccines for all its staff

Those who decline will be required to wear masks and socially distance while on campus.

John Thompson

Rep. John Thompson once again rejects calls to resign

He spoke briefly Monday morning at a press conference organized by his supporters.

Related

GOP faithful elect Shortridge as party chair

Pat Shortridge won the Minnesota GOP party chair election on the first ballot. He was up against Terry McCall and Todd McIntyre. He takes over for former chair Tony Sutton who recently resigned.

Sources shed light on 72 hours leading up to Sen. Amy Koch's surprise resignation

The Star Tribune and WCCO talk to some anonymous insiders who share details on how events reportedly went down.

Senjem promises 'fresh start' for senate

After more than 11 hours of debate at a hotel in Roseville, Minnesota Republicans chose Sen. David Senjem, of Rochester, to represent them as majority leader in the state senate. Senjem will replace Amy Koch, who resigned earlier this month after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a senate staffer.

Dayton urges Republicans to withdraw marriage amendment, cites Koch scandal

Gov. Dayton tells MPR that Amy Koch's apparent affair with a staffer makes it hard for Republicans to claim the moral high ground when it comes to marriage. He says he hopes the party will reconsider a constitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Republicans regroup after sudden resignation

GOP leaders are urging party members to stay the course just hours after Tony Sutton's abrupt resignation Friday night. The party is more than $500 thousand in debt and facing a pivotal election year in 2012.

Former GOP chair on party debt: "Worth it"

Just hours after Republican officials declared the party $2 million in debt, former party leader Tony Sutton released a statement on his Facebook page saying the numbers reflect a hard fought election and campaign cycle, but that Minnesota is better off because of it.

GOP leaders divided on whether Koch should give up Senate seat

One assistant majority leader says if the allegations of an inappropriate relationship are true, it will be difficult for Amy Koch to stay in the Senate. Another says he hopes she does stay. Koch resigned her post as Senate Majority Leader last week amid allegations of a relationship with a Senate staffer.