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Minnesota GOP: Finances improving, but debt still tops $1 million

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Minnesota's Republican party says its debt burden is getting lighter but it still has work to do to repay nearly $1.2 million.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the party says it reduced its debt by $520,000 in 2013, after raising $2.5 million in contributions during the year. As MPR recounts, an internal audit conducted when previous party chair Tony Sutton resigned at the end of 2011 found the GOP was nearly $2 million in debt at that time.

The party treasurer tells the Star Tribune debt payments were running $80,000- $100,000 per month during 2012 but will likely be in the $25,000-$30,000 range this year.

In addition to extra fund-raising, the party also looked for ways to trim administrative costs during 2013. The changes included moving the party's headquarters from an office building near the Capitol to a less expensive site in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Republicans are moving into a busy political season, when the party will choose from among several candidates hoping to unseat both Democratic Sen. Al Franken and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. Four other statewide offices and the entire Legislature are also up for election in November. Over the weekend five of the gubernatorial candidates took part in a debate in Roseville.

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