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What's next for former Senate minority leader David Hann?

What's next for former Senate minority leader David Hann?
MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
David Hann: “I’ve been contacted by some people connected to the Trump campaign. I was asked if I was interested in submitting a resume.”

Like many a baby boomer, former GOP senate minority leader David Hann isn’t ready to retire, despite the bittersweet results of the November election.

Hann, 64, lost his bid for re-election to DFLer Steve Cwodzinski for his Eden Prairie seat, but he led enough other Republican candidates to victory to give the GOP control of the Minnesota Senate — an accomplishment that has led to inquiries from the Trump administration and encouragement for him to run as chair of the state Republican party.

“I’ve been contacted by some people connected to the Trump campaign,” Hann acknowledged. “I was asked if I was interested in submitting a resume.”

Hann was and did, although he initially supported Carly Fiorina in her bid for the GOP nomination. Even now Hann expresses uncertainty about Trump’s style but said Trump has made “solid and interesting choices” for many Cabinet heads.

There are 690 positions within the new administration that require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Hann said he was asked about his interest in positions at the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Education, but these are likely not posts that require Senate approval.  

“There are other appointments that are further down the food chain, thousands of them,” he said.  “Most of these exist as long as the administration is in place.”   

Equally if not more intriguing to Hann is the post of state Republican party chair, which current chair Keith Downey is leaving. “I’ve continued to have people reach out to me and encourage me to think about this. Our party has had really good leadership with chairman Downey. He’s brought a lot of stability to our financial situation. For the next chairman… there’s going to have to be some moving forward and helping people win campaigns. I've shown some ability to have some success with that.”

Hann’s own political career began with his election to the Eden Prairie school board, followed by his 2002 election to the state Senate, where he rose to minority leader in 2013.

“It’s not the most secure or financially lucrative career to pursue, but for me it’s been about accomplishing a mission,” said Hann, who has long backed school choice and opposed MNSure and state funding for Southwest LRT. “The idea of stopping work when you’re 60 and going to play golf never appealed to me. As long as you have the capacity, you should try to use it.”  

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Comments (3)

Sure hope he gets a job

In DC

Since the cabinet choices

…he supports are, for the most part, potentially disastrous for the country, and given that he originally supported the genuinely bizarre Carly Fiorna for the Republican nomination, as opposed to the merely pompous and self-aggrandizing Donald Trump, I can't decide if I agree with Nick Foreman or not. There are advantages to taking a right-wing ideologue like Mr. Hann out of the local environment, but I'd hate to see him in a position where he might have more, and thus more damaging, influence. His choice of words, regarding a potential post as state GOP chair, “… there’s going to have to be some moving forward and helping people win campaigns. I've shown some ability to have some success with that,” is an interesting one, given his electoral defeat in November, in a decidedly Republican year.

Was Hann Defeated?

The difference here is that, as Secretary of MNGOP, I had an inside view over a lot of what David Hann accomplished this past year. Although he was in a contentious race, one where he lost by only 1,100 votes, his priority over the year was helping other candidates get elected so the Republicans could take the majority back in Minnesota. At the expense of costing him his own election, Hann was crisscrossing the entire state in support of other candidates. I thought I was out there a lot, but nearly everywhere I went, Hann was there as well.

You might differ on political ideology, but calling him out for a lost election shows a lack of knowledge about how Hann will always put his support for the Party and the other candidates above his own.