It was a dramatic weekend—to say the least—for Minnesota’s Republican party. Last Friday afternoon, right before a state-wide gathering on Saturday, party chair Tony Sutton abruptly resigned his position, citing personal reasons. The resignation comes at a time when party activists are unhappy with Sutton for running up party debt to $581,000 and attacking long-time local GOP leaders like moderates Arne Carlson and Al Quie who didn’t throw support behind gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. At the Saturday meeting, Kelly Fenton was elected to replace Sutton colleague Michael Brodkorb, who left his position as deputy chair in October, and Fenton now leads the party until a replacement for Sutton is selected.
In addition to the abruptness of Sutton’s resignation, some inter-party “bitterness” surfaced between Sutton and Emmer supporters, resulting in some finger pointing for the state of the party. And though there are big changes happening with some key office holders, Republican officials are quick to point out that the party is still stable and looking to address the financial issues. Minnpost’s Doug Grow takes a look at a post-Sutton MN GOP.