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Republican Party of Minnesota

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Republican Party of Minnesota
ChairpersonDavid Hann
Senate LeaderMark Johnson
House LeaderLisa Demuth
Student wingMinnesota College Republicans
Youth wingMinnesota Young Republicans
National affiliationRepublican Party
Colors  Red
State Senate
33 / 67
State House
64 / 134
Statewide Executive Offices
0 / 5
U.S. Senate
0 / 2
U.S. House of Representatives
4 / 8

The Republican Party of Minnesota is the state affiliate of the Republican Party in Minnesota and the oldest active political party in the state. Founded in 1855, the party controls four of Minnesota's eight congressional House seats. The last Republican governor of the state was Tim Pawlenty, who served from 2003 to 2011.

The party's headquarters is located in Edina, Minnesota and the current chairman is David Hann. Starting in 2023 and as a result of the 2022 elections, the Republican Party of Minnesota does not have substantial power over the state, holding no statewide executive offices, no U.S. Senate seats, and minorities in the state legislatures. It does control 4 out the 8 U.S. House seats Minnesota is apportioned.


Early history[edit]

The Republican Party in Minnesota was the dominant party in the state for approximately the first seventy years of Minnesota's statehood, from 1858 through the 1920s. In the Civil War, the state supported Abolitionism and the Union.[1]

Republican candidates routinely won the state governorship as well as most other state offices, having 12 out of the first 13.[2]

The 1892 Republican National Convention was held in Minneapolis. The party was aided by an opposition divided between the Democratic Party and the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, which eventually merged in 1944.

Independent-Republican era[edit]

The Independent-Republicans of Minnesota (I-R) was the name of the party from November 15, 1975, until September 23, 1995. The name change was made because the "Republican" name was damaged by the Watergate Scandal. Polls conducted in the early-mid-1970s indicated people in Minnesota were more likely to vote for a candidate who identified as an "Independent" versus a "Republican". During that time, the state party became more dependent on grassroots fundraising and eventually went bankrupt.[citation needed] After the national party pumped money into the party, in the early-mid-1980s, their image and base began turning more conservative. During this time the party had both US Senate seats and briefly held control of the state House of Representatives. By 1994, the grassroots had turned socially more conservative and changed the name back in 1995. Attempts to drop the term "Independent" had been defeated in 1989, 1991 and 1993.


For the 2006 U.S. Senate election, the party endorsed Mark Kennedy for United States Senate, who lost to Amy Klobuchar.

In the 2008 U.S. Senate election, incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman was defeated by Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate Al Franken by 312 votes out of over 2.5 million cast after a long series of dramatic, contentious and expensive re-counts.

The Party of Minnesota was fined $170,000 for violating federal campaign finance regulations from 2003 to 2008.[3] The Chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party Tony Sutton (R) was found guilty of circumventing Finance Laws in the Gubernatorial Election Recount of 2010 and fined $33,000. (2010)[4][5]

The last Republican Governor of Minnesota was Tim Pawlenty. He was elected in 2002 and after winning re-election in 2006, he served two terms. With Tom Emmer's defeat in 2010 by Mark Dayton, Republicans held the governorship for eight years. Despite having lost every executive race in the general election of 2010, the party captured both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature for the first time since the 1970s,[6] and defeated 18-term Minnesota US Jim Oberstar by electing Chip Cravaack to Minnesota's 8th district.

2010 gubernatorial race[edit]

For the 2010 statewide elections, the party endorsed State Representative Tom Emmer and Metropolitan Council member Annette Meeks for governor and lieutenant governor. State Representative Dan Severson was the endorsed candidate for secretary of state. Attorney and psychologist Chris Barden was the endorsed candidate for attorney general. Patricia Anderson was the endorsed candidate for state auditor. All five executive candidates lost their respective elections.

Following the 2010 gubernatorial recount, the Minnesota GOP was heavily in debt, owing $2 million primarily for the recount of votes. The GOP had stopped paying rent for its headquarters near the Capitol and the landlord filed an eviction summons once the Party had fallen $111,000 behind in rent.[7][8] They announced they would move their headquarters to Minneapolis's Seward neighborhood in January 2014. The new headquarters is situated diagonally across from the Seward Community Cafe where it shares a building with a Pizza Luce.[9] Party Chairman Keith Downey said they were moving away from St. Paul "to be closer to the people."[10] The headquarters were later moved to Edina.[11] Despite this, in 2010, Republicans had taken control of both houses of the State Legislature for the first time in three decades, only to lose both houses in 2012.

Recent history[edit]

In 2021, the Minnesota Republican Party became a subject of controversy when donor and strategist Anton Lazzaro was indicted for sex trafficking charges.[12] Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan resigned amidst the controversy.[13]

The party ran Scott Jensen for the 2022 gubernatorial race,[14][15] who lost to incumbent Tim Walz.[16] The party also lost its majority in the Minnesota Senate, giving the DFL a trifecta,[17] but the party held to the four seats in the US House of Representatives.

Ideology and voter-base[edit]

The Minnesota Republicans have a strong voter base in rural and suburban parts of Greater Minnesota.

2022 Party Platform[edit]

In the party's 2022 platform, the party opposed abortion access,[18] calling for the overturning[19] of Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which subsequently happened,[20][21] and the Minnesota Doe v. Gomez, which is still standing. It also opposes legal recognition of same-sex marriage.[22] They also "support the prohibition of Ranked Choice Voting in Minnesota."[23] On gun policy, the statement says that citizens who follow the law should "have the right to purchase and possess firearms, free from any gun registration system."[24] For education, the platform also opposes "any element of Critical Race Theory or associated curricula and programs."[25]

Current elected officials[edit]

The Minnesota Republican Party holds none of the five statewide elected offices, neither United States Senate seat, and four of the state's eight United States House of Representatives seats. It holds a minority in both the Minnesota Senate and the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Members of Congress[edit]

U.S. Senate[edit]

  • None

Both of Minnesota's U.S. Senate seats have been held by Democrats since 2009. Norm Coleman was the last Republican to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Out of the eight seats Minnesota is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives, 4 are held by Republicans:

District Member Photo
1st Brad Finstad
6th Tom Emmer
7th Michelle Fischbach
8th Pete Stauber

Statewide offices[edit]

  • None

Minnesota has not elected any GOP candidates to statewide office since 2006, when Tim Pawlenty was narrowly re-elected as governor. In 2010, Pawlenty opted not to seek re-election to a third term. State representative Tom Emmer ran as the Republican nominee in the 2010 election and was subsequently defeated by Democratic challenger Mark Dayton.

State legislature[edit]

List of Chairs[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE GENESIS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN MINNESOTA" (PDF). Minnesota Historical Society. The demand for the organization of a new anti-slavery party, following the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill in May, 1854, was most urgent in the region of the Old North-west. On July 6, in a state mass meeting made up of Whigs, anti-slavery Democrats, and Free-Soilers, Michigan gave the name Republican to the party whose formal organization was effected at this convention... Minnesota was slow in joining the movement.
  2. ^ Sturdevant, Lori. "Politics in Minnesota". mnopedia.org. Archived from the original on 2022-09-25. Retrieved 2023-02-22. While Minnesota's first governor, Henry Sibley, was a Democrat, his successor, Alexander Ramsey, and the state's next eleven governors all affiliated with the Republican Party—the party of Lincoln
  3. ^ http://www.citypages.com, AUGUST 19, 2011, MINNESOTA GOP FINED $170,000 FOR FEC VIOLATIONS BY MIKE MULLEN, [1]
  4. ^ http://www.mprnews.org, July 13, 2012, Minn. GOP, former chairman fined over recount by Tom Scheck [2]
  5. ^ "GOP chairman Sutton to join PR company". Startribune.com. 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-01-18.
  6. ^ Kaszuka, Mike (November 4, 2010). "Republicans celebrate, outline legislative goals". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on September 15, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  7. ^ http://www.mprnews.org, July 13, 2012, Minn. GOP, former chairman fined over recount by Tom Scheck [3]
  8. ^ Helgeson, Baird; Stassen-Berger, Rachel E. (April 23, 2012). "Debt-laden Minn. GOP notified of eviction". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  9. ^ Helgeson, Baird (December 9, 2013). "State GOP moves HQ to Minneapolis DFL stronghold". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 23, 2014. The new location puts the party headquarters in the heart of a longtime DFL stronghold.
  10. ^ Salisbury, Bill (December 9, 2013). "Minnesota GOP to move offices from St. Paul to Minneapolis". Pioneer Press. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "About | MNGOP". Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Kare 11 Staff (20 August 2021). "Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan resigns". KARE 11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Minnesota GOP Endorses Dr. Scott Jensen To Take On Gov. Tim Walz". CBS News. 2022-05-14. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  15. ^ Van Berkel, Jessie; Woodall, Hunter (2022-05-14). "Minnesota GOP backs Scott Jensen in race to unseat Gov. Tim Walz". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Callaghan, Peter (9 November 2022). "MinnPost analysis: DFL turns GOP talk of midterm dominance into 'trifecta' of its own". Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  18. ^ "2022 Republican Party of Minnesota Platform" (PDF). mngop.org. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-02-17. Retrieved 2023-02-22. The U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions should be amended to restore legal protection to the lives of innocent human beings from conception to natural death.
  19. ^ "2022 Republican Party of Minnesota Platform" (PDF). mngop.org. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-02-17. Retrieved 2023-02-22. We call for overturning the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Gomez decisions.
  20. ^ Sherman, Mark (2022-06-25). "Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion". AP News. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  21. ^ "Roe v Wade: US Supreme Court ends constitutional right to abortion". BBC. 2022-06-24. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  22. ^ "2022 Republican Party of Minnesota Platform" (PDF). mngop.org. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-02-17. Retrieved 2023-02-22. We believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Therefore, we: Call on the Minnesota State Legislature to repeal it new laws to the contrary.
  23. ^ "2022 Republican Party of Minnesota Platform" (PDF). mngop.org. p. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-02-17. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  24. ^ "2022 Republican Party of Minnesota Platform" (PDF). mngop.org. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-02-17. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  25. ^ "2022 Republican Party of Minnesota Platform" (PDF). mngop.org. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-02-17. Retrieved 2023-02-22. We oppose any element of Critical Race Theory (CRT) or associated curricula and programs such as Social Emotional Learning, Ethnic Studies and Culturally Responsive Teaching.
  26. ^ "MPR: Minnesota Republicans dump their party's boss". news.minnesota.publicradio.org. Retrieved 2023-10-11.

External links[edit]