Skip to main content

Minn. GOP elects former Edina Rep. Downey as chairman

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Minnesota Republicans elected former state representative Keith Downey as party chairman Saturday.

The Associated Press reports Downey won on the first ballot over owner of the online Independent Business News Network Don Allen, Carver County activist Bonn Clayton and Seagate Technology engineer Bill Paulsen.

From 2008 to 2012, Downey represented Edina in the state House, but lost a state Senate race against a Democratic challenger in 2012.

The newly-elected chairman is inheriting an organization deep in debt and facing an uncertain future, MPR reported in a story about how independent groups have begun to do some of the work traditionally done by the party.

The party remains about $1.6 million in debt, according to the Associated Press.

The Capitol Hill publication Roll Call recently probed the party’s woes, which include historic losses last November: a 35-point blowout in a U.S. Senate race, the loss of a competitive U.S. House seat and control of both legislative chambers.

Voters also shot down two GOP-backed constitutional amendments.

The Star Tribune points out the upside: The party stabilized its finances over last year and is working to regain donors’ trust before the midterm election, which often benefits the party out of power.

In January, several hundred party activists gathered and a to-do list emerged: Reach out to minorities, use social media more effectively, appeal to independent voters, improve campaign techniques, and bind together party factions.

On his campaign website, Downey lists his goals for the party, including a new strategy.

"To build excitement about our party, we need to first restore our credibility," he says. "...we will refocus and redesign what the state party does."

Next Up

Image from iOS (2)

Urban Outfitters store in Uptown to close

A number of national chains have departed Uptown in recent years.

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 6.41.22 AM

USS Minneapolis-St. Paul officially launched in Duluth ceremony

It's the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.

ambulance

One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.

281699116_10226502238438986_800951410789352812_n

Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Related

Starkey exec runs for Minnesota GOP chairman

Brandon Sawalich, a vice president at Starkey Hearing Technologies who ran unsuccessfully for the post in 2009, says he has a business background that should please party delegates. But MPR raises the question of whether grass-roots activists committed to some key conservative values will rally around him.

Chairman Tony Sutton's spending led way to GOP's debt

Minnesota Public Radio reports Sutton was giving out hundreds of thousands of dollars to contractors and consultants with close ties to the party even as donations started to slow. Now, with the state GOP struggling under $2 million of debt, leaders are worried donors large and small will take their checkbooks elsewhere.

Regulators fine Minnesota GOP, former chairman over 2010 recount

The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board Friday imposed fines on the Minnesota Republican Party, former chairman Tony Sutton and a separate corporation over the financing of the recount in the 2010 governor's race between Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton. The state GOP was fined $26,900, while Sutton and Count Them All Properly Inc. were fined $3,000 each.

Former GOP chair Keith Downey is running for governor

He joins more than a dozen other candidates in the crowded race

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.

Report: State GOP is nearly $2 million in debt

Politics In Minnesota quotes sources saying the Minnesota Republican Party's debts reach to about $2 million. That's almost double a previous estimate. The debt comes from unpaid legal fees, an FEC fine and recent invoices that have ballooned the party's financial woes. The revelation comes on the eve of the state GOP electing a new chairman.