Political jockeying under way to replace two state GOP national leaders

With the resignations of Minnesota’s two GOP national committee members, the positioning to replace them has begun.

Evie Axdahl, the state’s Republican National Committeewoman, and Brian Sullivan the Republican National Committeeman, are leaving their positions. Axdahl, who was first elected to the position in 1989, said she’s leaving because her husband is in poor health. Sullivan, a former candidate for governor, is leaving after six years in the position.

Already several candidates for the positions have emerged:

Tom Emmer, recovering from his narrow November defeat in the governor’s race, jumped in right away, saying in a statement: “I want to continue to build on our Party’s successes in 2010 so I am announcing my plan to run for National Committeeman for the Republican Party of Minnesota.”

Also in the hunt, according to MPR, is Ben Golnik, “a political operative and former executive director for the Minnesota Republican Party.” He was Emmer’s recount director and lead political consultant for the state Senate Republican Caucus. He told supporters: “I am running for this position because I believe we need a strong Party as we face the important 2012 election an election when our Party will need to be united to defeat liberals Amy Klobuchar and Barack Obama.” 

Janet Beihoffer former party chair in Congressional District 2, has mounted a campaign. Others expressing interest: former State Auditor Pat Anderson, and longtime GOP activist Mary Igo.

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