Less than a week after declaring his candidacy for the Republican Party of Minnesota’s top spot, Starkey Laboratories Senior Vice President Brandon Sawalich has dropped his bid.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to have met and spoken with many wonderful people during my candidacy for Chair,” he said in a statement.
“The time and dedication you put forth from the ground up is immeasurable and cannot afford distractions for the uphill battle our party has in store,” he said.
“It is for that reason I am respectfully withdrawing my name from this process. Our party must continue the path to unity and become one that is inclusive not exclusive. I intend to fully support the endorsed candidate for Chair and will continue to work hard to get republicans elected in 2012.”
Sawalich was arrested on Dec. 15 by the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport police for expired license plate tabs.The police thought Sawalich’s tabs had been expired for a year and a half, which is a gross misdemeanor offense.
But due to a clerical error, the police were wrong; Sawalich’s plates had only been expired since June, 2011. He’ll now only have to pay a ticket.
Sawalich may have replaced former chair Tony Sutton, who resigned earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Sawalich’s statement hints at a separate crisis playing out this week within the state’s top Republican leadership. Late Thursday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch stepped down from her post and said she would not seek reelection. She has been accused of an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staff member.