Does the Republican Party of Minnesota matter? I hear this question all the time and understand why it is asked. But turn it around: would you ever hear a democrat, in or out of media, ask whether the DFL matters? You wouldn't but here we are and it's a sign of the state of republican politics in Minnesota that it is asked on one side of the aisle and not the other.
The answer to the question, of course, is that the Republican Party of Minnesota does matter because it should matter. Ken Martin, chair of the DFL, has his detractors but I don't count myself among them. We've met approximately once, at lunch, but my esteem is hardly earned over vegetarian Japanese food. No, Martin understands in Minnesota the essential role--still--of the party in our politics. This is not nothing.
The Minnesota Republican Party to date is a limp thing, ad hoc at best, usually adrift with appallingly bad messaging when, if it comes at all, is late to the news cycle. Going on offense is a concept wholly foreign to it. Some blame exiting Chair Keith Downey, who, to be sure, deserves a healthy portion of it, yet making Downey the scapegoat for what ails the party elides what truly ails it. And what ails Minnesota republicans I've written about ad nauseum. This is not the time for recapitulation.
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A number of diagnoses have been made about the party and any number of treatment options offered by those running for Chair & Deputy Chair. I'm not currently a member of the State Central Committee that will vote to fill these positions on the last Saturday of this month. I held a roundtable podcast on Gilmore & Guests for the Chair candidates that can be heard here. I held a similar roundtable podcast for the Deputy Chairs that can be heard here. I did both shows in order to help delegates decide for whom to vote. In both shows I was scrupulously neutral. Now, I want to endorse.
David Hann represents the best choice for putting the Republican Party of Minnesota back onto the path of political relevance. Hann single handedly brought Minnesota a republican majority in the state senate, despite overt undermining from other republicans, especially those in House "leadership." He lost his own seat, true, but there's something to be said sacrificing for the larger good that should appeal to State Central delegates.
Hann is strongly pro Trump, despite a whisper campaign to the opposite. I know who doesn't support Trump in this state, believe me. When a political phenomenon like Trump wins both the city of Hibbing as well as 78 out of our 87 counties, Hann pays attention. In short, he gets it.
Ken Martin & the democrats are already out of the gate trying to win those voters back. David Hann knows what to do in order to keep them, something our House and Senate majorities seemingly do not.
Hann, it seems to me, will also message on behalf of the party instead of on behalf of whichever faction in our endlessly factionalized party is ascendant in either legislative chamber. This is to the good. Someone in the republican firmament in Minnesota had best speak for the average voter.
David Hann is that man & I encourage delegates to make him our party chair.
I'd heard of David Pascoe but not much and met him for the first time when he came to the studio to record the Gilmore & Guests podcast for the Deputy Chair race.
Pascoe impressed me greatly with not only his previous record of service, but his keen understanding of the role the Deputy Chair should play within the party. Cogent, forward looking, realizing the political landscape has changed, even in Minnesota, Pascoe would be the best candidate to serve any chair the State Central delegates elect.
I hope they elect David Pascoe.