Downey re-elected as Minnesota Republican Party chair

Keith Downey
MinnPost photo by Brian Halliday
Keith Downey

In the end, it wasn’t much of a contest. The Republican Party of Minnesota showed united support for its leadership, re-electing Keith Downey to a second term as chair with 68 percent of the vote of 342 party activists who attended a state central committee meeting Saturday.

Downey had been challenged by Bill Jungbauer and Neil Lynch, two men who represent the more libertarian wing of the party. Both asserted that the party was failing to attract younger and more diverse voters. 

Lynch, a software engineer, said the party had a “product problem,” trying to sell its policies to a younger generation voters that disagrees with Republican cultural values.  Those younger voters, Lynch said, believe that “government should stay out of your wallet and your bedroom.”

But a group of activists that included a libertarian favorite, state senator Dave Thompson, and Angie Hasek, president of the Minnesota College Republicans, offered Downey’s name in nomination.

In his brief speech to the delegates, Downey maintained that the party has turned around, systematically taken steps to retiring its debt – now at $1.3 million – and helping elect a Republican majority to the Minnesota House.

His challengers, he said in an interview,  “raise important issues.” 

As to the party’s efforts to include a diverse group of voters, Downey said Republican issues do have appeal.  “Young people care about their future and their opportunities and their being able to write their own script,” he said.  

But, he added, “We do have to be more intentional and get back in front of them and to that point, I couldn’t agree more with Neil [Lynch] that we need to do more.” 

The delegates also elected Chris Fields to a second term as deputy chair.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/13/2015 - 01:19 pm.

    Just think

    how many votes the GOP could get if they would stop their wars on women, Hispanics, minorities, and common sense. They could be for something instead of just being against everything. They want to repeal everything rather than just fixing it. They want it their way or no way at all. They have been talking about party change for a long time now, but never change anything. Four months after the last election they still have nothing to show for it. They promised they were going to prove they could govern. Every group of ten people in the GOP think they are the way forward because there isn’t any leadership, at any level. Remember the next election a larger field of unfriendly voters may be out to shorten your trial period. The GOP is still a party on the demise, and only they can fix it. Take your time no one is in a hurry for the fix.

  2. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 04/13/2015 - 10:08 am.

    Reelection of Downey

    More good news for the DFL

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