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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 — 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 — including her past attempt to be cast on "Survivor" — 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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Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
30 mins ago - World

Blockades and ballots: A wild day in the post-Brexit U.K.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

British naval vessels dispatched to break a French blockade, Scottish nationalists attempting to break away from the U.K., and working class voters in the northeast breaking for the Conservatives after voting Labour for six decades.

Why it matters: That was just one day in the topsy turvy reality of post-Brexit Britain.

S.C. governor orders end to federal COVID-related unemployment benefits

Photo: Micah Green/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) on Thursday ordered the termination of the state's participation in all federal, pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs.

Driving the news: McMaster cited labor shortages, but some experts say it's the job climate and not unemployment benefits that is determining the pace at which people are returning to work.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration surprised the world last night by coming out in favor of waiving patents for coronavirus vaccines — but Europe is divided on the issue.

What they're saying: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said Brussels would be willing to discuss it; French President Emmanuel Macron said he backed the U.S. position, but a German government spokesman said the proposal would cause "severe complications" for vaccine production.

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