Apr 9, 2021 - News

Minnesota GOP to pick chair after drama-filled fight

It's Mark Koran vs. Jennifer Carnahan this weekend. Photos: Minnesota Legislature/Courtesy of Jennifer Carnahan

A bitter leadership fight comes to a head this weekend, as Minnesota Republican Party delegates pick their next chair.

Why it matters: The chair will lead fundraising and strategy heading into 2022, when the governorship, newly drawn congressional districts and all 201 state legislative seats will be on the ballot.

The state of play: Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan is running for a third term. She faces a challenge from Mark Koran, a state senator from North Branch.

  • While Republicans in other places have sparred over what role former President Trump should play in the party's future, the fight here has been intensely personal β€” and divisive.
  • Both sides lobbed character attacks and allegations of (internal) election meddling and costly fundraising contracts spilled into the public sphere.

What to expect: Many insiders think Carnahan will pull off a win on Saturday.

  • But some worry the fight could leave a fractured party heading into the next cycle.

Go deeper: The Star Tribune's Pat Condon profiled Carnahan β€” including her past attempt to be cast on "Survivor" β€” ahead of the vote..

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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