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

Since losing his bid for re-election, Hann has been approached about joining the Trump administration and considered running for chair of the state Republican party.

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.”
MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach

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.

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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.”