In an interview with politics.mn, the chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota Keith Downey said the recent discussions about the endorsement process are about “keeping it relevant” in a changing political environment. Chairman Downey’s comments are in reference to a post on politics.mn from yesterday which disclosed the party is considering an enhanced “endorsement policy” for candidates seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party of Minnesota.
The Secretary of the Republican Party of Minnesota Chris Field sent out the approved minutes of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Executive Committee held on November 21, 2013 and contained references to a new endorsement policy. In an interview with politics.mn, Secretary Fields confirmed the accuracy of the minutes. Below is the section from minutes referencing the policy:
Chairman Downey recommends a policy be created that would identify criteria for endorsement; policy can include:
Candidates seeking endorsement cannot have run as a DFL or Independence party candidate within the last two cycles.
Cannot have run a primary against an endorsed candidate in the last two cycles.
Cannot be endorsed if candidate has been a party officer in another political party.
Dave Thul (CD1) added the list agreement should be used as leverage to get potential candidates to abide by the endorsing policy.
Draft policy will be forthcoming.
Chairman Downey said earlier today that his intention in discussing “additional criterial” with the members of the executive committee was born from conversations with activists. Chairman Downey added that any proposed changes coming from the Republican Party of Minnesota would focus on endorsements for statewide office and would not occur before the upcoming state convention in May.
At least one member of the state executive committee has requested a correction to the November meeting minutes to more accurately reflect the conversation about how to protect the value of the party endorsement. Dave Thul, who represents the 1st Congressional District on the Republican Party of Minnesota’s executive committee told politics.mn:
No one wants to impose penalties for those seeking to run in primaries against our endorsed candidates, rather, we want to make sure Republicans understand that the endorsement given by our activists carries a significant value. While anyone is free to run against an endorsed candidate in a primary, we as a party need to protect our endorsement process by giving endorsed candidates our full focus and resources.
Please check back to politics.mn for additional analysis on endorsing conventions and the 2014 elections.