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Minnesota GOP headquarters moving from St. Paul to Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood

MinnPost photo by Brian Halliday
Party Chair Keith Downey says the move across town and demographic sectors was a strategic decision as well a financial one.

The Republican Party of Minnesota is moving out of the power zone that surrounds the state Capitol in St. Paul and heading into a Minneapolis neighborhood where residents are likely to have more allegiance to the DFL.   

On Jan. 31, the GOP headquarters moves from 525 Park St. to 2200 E. Franklin Ave. in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. Nearby are the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College and the Christo Rey and Minnesota Transitions charter high schools.

Party Chair Keith Downey says the move across town and demographic sectors was a strategic decision as well a financial one.

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

From a practical standpoint, he said, the space is more technologically advanced, a third less in cost and well-located in terms of highway access.

Downey said the headquarters is likely to host an open house after he and the staff gets settled but that he does not intend to wait to get involved in the community.

“Just the fact that you are in the neighborhood, there are opportunities to serve the neighborhood,” he said.

Comments (18)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/09/2013 - 09:24 am.

    Maybe they should move

    to Wisconsin 😉

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/09/2013 - 09:25 am.

    Strategic decision

    It’s a good strategy to want to pay less rent. Culturally and politically, they would be more comfortable in Wayzata.

    • Submitted by Lora Jones on 12/09/2013 - 10:47 am.


      I attended one of the caucuses held at the Anne Sullivan School, which sits on the border between Seward and Longfellow, in 2008. The place was so packed I (naively) asked someone whether both the GOP and DFL caucuses for local precincts were being held there. “No.” He responded. “If they’re holding a GOP caucus, it’s in somebody’s garage or something.”

  3. Submitted by Lora Jones on 12/09/2013 - 09:28 am.

    It’s hard to even know where to begin with this

    The juxtaposition is just so bizarre. I wonder if any GOPers will join the folks at Tracey’s across the street for Taco Thursdays or indulge in one of the Co-op’s vegan peanut butter cookies and a soy latte for a pre-evening meeting pick-me-up. The area’s pretty diverse, but I’m having trouble envisioning business-suited white guys being inconspicuous — and I’m not sure that the time-honored GOP “regular guy” uniform of flannel shirt and khakis will be much better . . .

  4. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 12/09/2013 - 10:33 am.

    It is a good move

    They might as well get away from St. Paul because they are not doing any good over there. Maybe this will give them the opportunity to get their party back together again and become a viable part of Minnesota’s political system. Right now, not so much. After all their talk of change this is the first event I can actually call change even if it is just location. They have to start somewhere.

  5. Submitted by Alex Cecchini on 12/09/2013 - 10:49 am.

    I wonder

    If the GOP is aware that this new location is also excellently served by transit and bike facilities in addition to the ever important “highway access”? The Blue Line (with connections to the Central Corridor/Green Line come next summer) is 1/3 block walk away. The 2 and 8 (another connection to the Green Line) pass right in front of it. Bike lanes run on 26th Ave and Franklin itself. If the GOP wants to reach out to Minneapolis constituents, this may be a better way of framing access to the location.

  6. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/09/2013 - 10:54 am.

    As a Seward resident…

    This is great news and I welcome the GOP to the hood. Hope it is a long stay and that you don’t bug out when you are solvent again.

    You are right there near Pizza Luce, highly recommended. Take a nice lunch time walk down the street to Northern Clay. Or go even further down to Zip’s – a nice family owned liquor store with a good sub shop right beside it.

    Gas station is right there on the corner as well as the infamous Seward Cafe – a haven for lefties and vegans. And a real, honest to god hardware store is right across the street – Welna. Get your stuff there rather than the Big Box Stores.

    And of course, the commie co-op and the almost vegan Birchwood where the lefties sit outside – in nice weather – and drink chablis and munch on organic stone ground wheat thins with Brie.

    You’ll learn a lot in Seward. Hope it sticks and that too many of your young interns don’t go over to the dark (DFL) side.

    When are you moving in and how many? I’ll bring treats.

    Your new neighbor,

    Bill Gleason

    By the way… You might want to lobby for one of those stands for the green bikes. Then you could ride them down to the ‘Birch – they have one, too, Great for the summer. You will love Seward.

  7. Submitted by Hudson Leighton on 12/09/2013 - 10:58 am.

    Are the Tea Party types going to feel safe? I mean that’s the dreaded “Inner City” !

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/09/2013 - 12:25 pm.

      Your prejudices are showing

      I’m a tea partier who’s lived in the “inner city” my whole life. Unlike most liberals here.

      The synergy of capitalist small business owners and the party of free market capitalism seems logical to me. Not unlike the DFL offices being close to the shrines of big government in Saint Paul.

      • Submitted by Hugh Gitlin on 12/09/2013 - 05:42 pm.

        I didn’t know the West Side was close to the government shrines

        The DFL moved away from the Hill years ago. While they are still in St. Paul, the Mississippi River separates them from the Halls of Government.

  8. Submitted by Conor Donnelly on 12/09/2013 - 11:17 am.

    MN GOP Moving in to Seward?

    So strange. For a second I thought I was reading The Onion.

  9. Submitted by David Frenkel on 12/09/2013 - 11:31 am.

    Privilege of rank

    Downey lives in Edina and I think this is more about shortening his commute to work. It is not uncommon for a new executive to move an organization’s office closer to his home. I have seen this done a number of times.

  10. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/09/2013 - 12:19 pm.

    New Message

    So what’s the message the GOP wants to send to college students and immigrants? “We don’t want you to vote” and “get out of America”? That’s the only messages they’ve been sending in the past and I don’t expect that’ll change anytime soon.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/09/2013 - 01:46 pm.


      Turns out, the young folks are leaning away from the democrats thanks to the lies from their leader. College students are ready to vote republican in spite of the years of left-wing propaganda they’re been subjected to because now their pocketbook and their freedom to be left alone is at stake.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/09/2013 - 02:49 pm.


        Young folks are going to vote for the party that has made consistent efforts to disenfranchise them, limit their economic opportunities, and subject them to retrograde social policies (“freedom to be left alone” = “freedom to live the way we want you to”).

        You might actually check the results of the poll you link to. Disaffection with the ACA doesn’t seem to be turning young voters Republican. One percent of the people surveyed who voted for Obama in 2012 would now vote for Romney. It’s a landslide!

      • Submitted by jody rooney on 12/09/2013 - 02:50 pm.

        See Mr. Tester that is what I mean about understanding

        data when you read it. You might want to study the screen a bit longer.

        I am distressed that they want to lower the tax rate on millionaire but judging from the question they may not have understood what the current rate is.

  11. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 12/10/2013 - 10:15 am.

    Friendly advice for the GOP

    As you know, the only reason the public isn’t rushing into the ranks of the Republican party is that they don’t yet fully grasp the timeless brilliance of conservative ideas. As you also know, if the GOP loses an election, it can’t possibly be because of the inherent value of conservative ideas, which are never incorrect. It must be because they weren’t presented with full honesty and openness. In other words, they weren’t quite conservative enough. So, in order to better ensure electoral success in the future, please consider these strategies in conjunction with your new office location.

    –Conservative Messaging:
    In street-level windows, place the following messages on signs and banners:

    “Marriage is between one man and one woman. No homos allowed.”
    “Students: pay your fair share. Increase tuition now!”
    “Women: keep your legs shut and stop killing babies!”
    “Christian prayer services in the public schools!”
    “Stop Sharia Law!”
    “Obama: Go Back to Kenya!”

    –Conservative Outreach:
    a) With newly recruited volunteers, launch a Seward Neighborhood version of NYC’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy, but targeting “suspected hispanics” and Muslim terrorists.
    b) Accost Seward Co-op shoppers–go right to the heart of the socialist stronghold in the neighborhood–with the truth about the climate change conspiracy: thousands of scientists, journalists, academics, scientific bodies and science journals are all in a grand global conspiracy to get control of capitalism through “enviro-fascism.” If you can succeed here, GOP, you can succeed anywhere!

    Please consider these gold nugget political strategizing tips as you move into your new digs.

    Yours in our Battle Against Facism/Socialism/Sharia Law/Homoexual Agenda,

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