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Minnesota GOP Meets To Choose New Chairman

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Minnesota House, Republicans, GOP, session, 2011

(credit: CBS)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Republicans are meeting to elect a new party chairman.

The party’s central committee meets Saturday in Bloomington to choose their new leader. The four candidates are Keith Downey, Bill Paulsen, Bonn Clayton and Don Allen, with former state representative Downey viewed as the frontrunner.

The new chairman will take over party that’s still struggling financially and politically. The party remains in debt to the tune of about $1 million after problems with financial mismanagement under a previous chairman. And Republicans haven’t won a statewide race in Minnesota since former Gov. Tim Pawlenty was narrowly reelected in 2006.

The meeting will also be a chance for potential candidates against Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Al Franken next year to make an impression on party activists.

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