State GOP moves HQ to liberal Minneapolis neighborhood

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The About.com website that tracks the character of Minneapolis locales describes the Seward neighborhood as "...one of Minneapolis' most liberal neighborhoods, voting overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates in local elections."

Despite that, The Associated Press reports that the Minnesota Republican Party will move its headquarters from St. Paul to the DFL stronghold at the end of January.

MinnPost said the party's present office is in what it called "the power zone that surrounds the State Capitol." The Seward neighborhood is home to many immigrants and refugees and is bordered by the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, with charter schools Christo Rey and Minnesota Transitions nearby.

Chair Keith Downey, elected to the GOP's top job last April as the party faced steep debt, said the move presents a chance for strategic outreach. He said the party will be involved in the neighborhood.

“We are trying to send a signal that’s real and substantive,” Downey told MinnPost. “Frankly our ideas and solutions are right for new American immigrants, people struggling with employment, and students.”

The Star Tribune noted the move to the centrally-located southeastern part of the city will result in significant rent savings for the GOP as well. The party narrowly averted being evicted from its St. Paul headquarters in 2012 when it had fallen $111,000 behind in rent on its 7,340-square-foot office and call center near the Capitol. The party renegotiated its rent and has remained in the space.

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