Minnesota’s state Republican Party has a campaign office in Rochester for the first time in four years.
The Rochester Post Bulletin reports that as the party’s finances improve, it is making an effort to open offices around the state.
The Rochester campaign offices is one of 16 that GOP officials plan to open around the state in coming days. Two years ago, with the party facing major financial problems, the state party didn’t open any of its own offices.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey told the paper:
“One of the things that suffered mightily with the problems with the state party was our basic ground game, our basic capacity to support candidates with all of the field activities, from making phone calls, from distributing law signs to dropping literature, knocking on doors.”
The Olmsted County Republicans have rented temporary space during election seasons, the paper said.
The state DFL has had an office in the same Rochester strip mall for eight years.
The Rochester area has long been considered Republican territory, but that is changing, says DFL Party Chair Ken Martin, who told the paper:
“Olmsted County is a purple county. It is not a solid red county. There are pockets of DFL voters in Olmsted County and we need to get every single vote we can, including not just DFL votes out of Olmsted County but also independent voters.”