ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Republicans have elected political consultant Pat Shortridge as their new state party chair.

Shortridge defeated businessman Todd McIntyre and Terry McCall, the party’s 2nd District chairman, at a meeting of the party’s State Central Committee in St. Cloud.

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Shortridge was elected on the first ballot, with 66.5 percent of the vote. McCall received 30 percent and McIntyre 3 percent.

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Shortridge will serve the remainder of former GOP Chair Tony Sutton’s term, which expires in April 2013. Sutton resigned Dec. 2 amid internal criticism of party finances.

In a statement, Shortridge says he looks forward to working with Deputy Chair Kelly Fenton, the staff and party activists to “reorganize and re-energize” the Minnesota GOP for the upcoming 2012 elections.

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