Republican Party of Minnesota
|Republican Party of Minnesota|
|Senate leader||David Hann (Minority Leader)|
|House leader||Kurt Daudt (Minority Leader)|
|Founded||March 29, 1855|
|Headquarters||2200 East Franklin Avenue Suite 201
Minneapolis, MN 55404-2395
|Student wing||Minnesota College Republicans|
|Youth wing||Minnesota Young Republicans|
|National affiliation||Republican Party|
|House of Representatives|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Politics of Minnesota
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. The 1892 Republican National Convention was held in Minneapolis. Republican candidates routinely won the state governorship as well as most other state offices. The party was aided by an opposition divided between the Democratic Party and the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, who eventually merged in 1944.
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 identify as an "Independent" versus a "Republican". During that time, the state party became more dependent on grassroots fundraising and eventually went bankrupt. 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.
The previous Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty is a Republican. After Pawlenty's re-election in 2006, Republicans held the governorship for 16 of 20 years through the end of 2010. In the general election of 2010, the party captured both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature for the first time since the 1970s, and defeated 18-term Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar by electing Chip Cravaack, despite having lost every statewide race. The 2008 Republican National Convention was held in St. Paul.
For the 2010 state-wide 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 candidates lost their respective elections.
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 and contentious re-counts.
In 2010, Republicans took control of both houses of the State Legislature for the first time in three decades, only to lose both houses in 2012.
Following the 2010 gubernatorial recount, the Minnesota GOP was heavily in arrears, owing $2 million, and had stopped paying rent for its headquarters near the Capitol. The landlord filed an eviction summons once the Party had fallen $111,000 behind in rent. They announced they would move their headquarters to Minneapolis's Seward neighborhood in January 2014. The headquarters will be situated cater-corner from the Seward Community Cafe where it will share a building with a Pizza Luce. Party Chairman Keith Downey said they were moving away from St. Paul "to be closer to the people."
Candidates in 2012
- Kurt Bills for United States Senate
- Allen Quist for U.S. Representative (1st district)
- Tony Hernandez for U.S. Representative (4th district)
- Chris Fields for U.S. Representative (5th district)
- Lee Byberg for U.S. Representative (7th district)
Current elected officials
The Minnesota Republican Party holds none of the five statewide elected offices and is the minority in both the Minnesota Senate and the Minnesota House of Representatives. Republicans hold three of the state's eight United States House of Representatives seats.
Members of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives
- Helgeson, Baird; Stassen-Berger, Rachel E. (April 23, 2012). "Debt-laden Minn. GOP notified of eviction". Star Tribune.
- Helgeson, Baird (December 9, 2013). "State GOP moves HQ to Minneapolis DFL stronghold". Star Tribune. "The new location puts the party headquarters in the heart of a longtime DFL stronghold."
- Salisbury, Bill (December 9, 2013). "Minnesota GOP to move offices from St. Paul to Minneapolis". Pioneer Press.