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A good day of turbulence for the Minnesota Republican Party

A sign of growing turbulence inside the Republican Party of Minnesota was on display Saturday, as two members of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s State Executive Committee lost their bids for re-election.

Dave Thul, a member of the committee from the 1st Congressional District and Pat Anderson, a member of the committee from the 4th Congressional District, were both defeated at their local congressional district conventions. Thul was defeated by Jen Jacobson and Tim Johnson was elected over Anderson.

Anderson previously served as Minnesota’s State Auditor from 2003 to 2007. She was defeated for re-election in 2006 by incumbent State Auditor Rebecca Otto. Otto also defeated Anderson in 2010. Anderson also served as Republican National Committeewoman from Minnesota from 2011-2012, but was defeated for re-election by Janet Beihoffer. Anderson received only 26 votes today and lost on the first ballot to Johnson.

Over the last few weeks, Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey has seen many of his key allies leave the State Executive Committee.

Both Thul and Anderson were viewed as strong supporters of Downey. Nancy LaRoche, considered one of Downey’s most loyal supporters, did not run for re-election as chair of the 5th Congressional District Republicans and was replaced by David Paul Pascoe two weeks ago.

Frustrated by the party’s continued debt and recent public relations missteps, many Republicans I spoke with today were energized by the new changes on the State Executive Committee.

Bill Jungbauer, who served with both Thul and Anderson on the committee and is currently the chair of the 2nd Congressional District Republicans, said “today’s victory by both Tim Johnson and Jen Jacobson is a definite result of protest by the grassroots of our party.” Jungbauer added, “the grassroots want to see the party’s debt paid down, they want to know that the state party is truly supportive of all statewide candidates and they want transparency.”

This post was written by Michael Brodkorb and originally published on – an inside view of Minnesota politics. Follow on Twitter: @politicsdotmn.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/23/2015 - 01:52 pm.

    I’m not familiar with either Jen Jacobson or Tim Johnson. What does their election portend for the MNGOP? Fiscal responsibility for the party, or more of the Downey/Sutton types of issues?

  2. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 03/23/2015 - 03:52 pm.

    Explain, please

    Does “they want to know that the state party is truly supportive of all statewide candidates” mean they were supporters of Michelle McDonald?

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/23/2015 - 04:51 pm.

    I Can Only Hope

    That this portends the beginning of the time when thoughtful, sane, moderates,…

    you remember those types of Republicans, who actually had ideas which they offered in competition to the ideas of the Democrats,…

    believed in fiscally responsible government,…

    and were able to evaluate new circumstances and respond to the changing situations that developed in our state, nation and the world,…

    rather than trying to march us back, as quickly as possible, to the 1800s,…

    in order to pad their own pockets at taxpayer expense and offer themselves and their cronies ever-greater opportunities to do so,…

    the return of intelligent, thoughtful folks to the ranks of the leadership in the Minnesota Republican Party.

    It’s about time.

  4. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/24/2015 - 06:46 am.

    It’s no secret that I don’t agree with many of the Minnpost’s positions, but publishing Brodkorb’s diatribes breaks new, infertile ground.

    There is no one in any position of authority in the MNGOP that is going to give Brodkorb any information at all, much less anything of importance. His unattributed comments and unnamed sources are either the work of his own imagination or of disgruntled outsiders.

    There are several reputable Republican bloggers out there, many who cover the sort of infighting that Minnpost’s lefty audience would find interesting. The fact that the Minnpost chooses one written by an uninformed pariah is a new twist on journalistic standards.

  5. Submitted by jason myron on 03/24/2015 - 06:55 am.

    Or as Steve Martin

    said in a classic SNL sketch back in the 70’s…”Nah!”
    Although I would welcome a return to the Arne Carlson style of conservatism, not only in this state, but across the country, I’m not holding my breath.

  6. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/24/2015 - 11:09 am.

    It’s amusing

    that democrats would care a lick about the inner-workings of the local republican party.

    I mean, pining for “moderates” and Arne Carlson? The republican party is supposed to provide the conservative candidate in the race. We already have a liberal party in this state from which to choose your candidate. We don’t need another one.

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