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State GOP Chairman Tony Sutton’s new venture fuels speculation he won’t run for party post

WASHINGTON — State Republican Chairman Tony Sutton said he’ll announce next week if he’ll run for another term as head of the Minnesota Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Sutton and Public Affairs Co. announced a partnership that fueled speculation he might be heading out of the GOP’s top job. In a statement announcing the move, PAC CEO Steve Knuth called Sutton a “seasoned political operative who will bring his knowledge, enthusiasm and wide range of contacts to the Public Affairs Company team.” Sutton, in the same statement, said he was “elated” to be joining PAC.

The questions arose because of a line in the press release announcing the joint venture describing Sutton’s time with the state GOP in the past tense.

Recently, Tony Sutton served as chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party in a year when both chambers of the legislature had historic gains, with the state GOP taking control of both bodies for the first time in almost forty years.

When reached by phone, Sutton wouldn’t bite, saying he’d have an announcement on his future next week.

Update (Jan. 18): Sutton told the Strib’s Rachel Stassen Berger the same thing he told me, but Morning Take’s Blois Olson writes that sources close to Sutton say he’ll go for another term, and that deputy chairman Michael Brodkorb will too.

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