Skip to Content

Support MinnPost

Minnesota GOP chooses new chair, meets more guv candidates: Anderson, Kohls, Seifert, Sviggum

Tony Sutton was elected state chair of the Minnesota Republican Party Saturday. And we learned more about likely GOP candidates in the race to succeed Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who won't seek re-election in 2010.

Sutton, a party insider and active operative, is CEO of the Baja Sol restaurant chain. He defeated two challengers for the chair position:  Lakeville attorney and former radio talk-show host Dave Thompson and former state Sen. Carrie Ruud, of Breezy Point. It only took one ballot.

Blogger Michael Brodkorb, of Eagan, was elected deputy chair.

Brodkorb, communications director for the state Senate Republican caucus, said he'll stop contributing to the blog Minnesota Democrats Exposed, which he founded, reported Bill Salisbury in the Pioneer Press.

The committee meeting in Brooklyn Center also brought a little more clarity to the crowded gubernatorial field, as former State Auditor Pat Anderson, state Rep. Paul Kohls, House Minority Leader Marty Seifert and former House Speaker Steve Sviggum said they plan to run. Former state Rep. Bill Haas, of Champlin, had already jumped in the pool, and working the crowd as possible candidates were Rep. Laura Brod, of New Prague, and Sen. David Hann, of Eden Prairie.

Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau spoke to the group and said she has not ruled out running. Sen. Michelle Fischbach, of Paynesville, declined to say whether she'll run but was seen working the delegates.

Also, former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman said in a speech to the crowd that he still expects to be seated as senator. Some wonder, though, if he'll run for governor if he loses the election recount court case. Coleman told reporters: "I'm not even thinking about it."

Get MinnPost's top stories in your inbox