Starkey Hearing Technologies executive Brandon Sawalich announced this morning that he’s running for chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota. Sawalich, who unsuccessfully ran for party chair in 2009, sent out a letter to Republican delegates announcing his decision.
“The next Chairman will need to have the same skills as a successful business leader. If elected I am committed to strengthening our party through:
-Electing endorsed candidates
-Financial integrity and transparency
-Re-energizing our grassroots movement.
Sawalich will meet the criteria put forward by some delegates that the next party chair have a business background but the key question is whether he’ll be acceptable to grassroots activists who are more interested in electing a party chair that holds key conservative principles.
Sawalich is expected to be one of several candidates who will run for chair. Others mentioned included former state Rep. Mike Osskopp, 2nd District Congressional Chair Terry McCall and
political consultant Pat Shortridge.
Update: Shortridge tells MPR News that he’s not running for the post. He’s backing Sawalich.
Osskopp told MPR News this morning he’s “leaning towards” running for MNGOP Chair. He said he’ll announce decision later this week. Update
Whoever wins will have a lot of work to do. Former Chair Tony Sutton, who abruptly resigned on Dec. 1, left the party’s finances in disarray. Party officials say the party has a debt of more than $500,000 heading into the 2012 election.
Here’s Sawalich’s letter to delegates: