This year is an election year, though not for the general public. Both the DFL and Republican state parties will elect their leadership. Like Ken Martin, his DFL counterpart, GOP chair Keith Downey says he’s going for another two-year term as chair.
With a newly elected DFL slate of constitutional officers, Martin’s re-election to a third term is expected to be an easy win at a state central committee meeting on February 7. Downey also looks likely to win re-election, with no challengers on the horizon.
But Downey, say some party insiders, was debating whether he wanted to continue as chair and was strongly encouraged to do so. He’s credited with fortifying the party’s financial position and helping Republicans gain control of the Minnesota House.
Still, in a statement, Downey acknowledged, “There’s a lot of work ahead of us.” That work would be maintaining those seats in the House and gaining seats in the Senate in 2016 plus laying the groundwork for statewide races where wins have eluded Republicans for the last two election cycles.
The state Republican party will hold its election of party chair and other officers April 11 at its spring central committee meeting.