Long-time GOP operative Andy Parrish is behind a new political committee that’s meant to elect conservative candidates to the state Legislature.
Not only will A Stronger Minnesota raise and spend cash to get a handful of new faces elected to the state House, Parrish said the group is making a name for itself now so it can play a role in future races.
The group “is going to elect conservative candidates to the Minnesota Legislature and we’re gearing up for the 2014 gubernatorial and Senate race,” Parrish said.
Those conservative candidates include:
– Andrew Reinhardt, who is running against DFL candidate Melissa Hortman in House District 36B, which includes parts of Coon Rapids and Brooklyn Park.
– Melissa Valeriano, who is running against Kim Norton in House District 25B, which encompasses Northern Rochester.
– Mandy Benz, who is running against Jerry Newton in House District 37A, near Blaine.
– Possibly Travis Silvers, who is vying for the House District 7B seat in Duluth.
– Chris Kellett, who is running against John Ward in House District 10A, which is near Brainerd and Nisswa.
State law prevents A Stronger Minnesota from working directly with these candidates, but it can send out campaign literature or run ads on their behalf.
Parrish said that the group was started by individual donors and others who are concerned about getting not just Republicans, but true conservatives elected to the state Legislature.
Parrish declined to say who those people are, but pointed out that many Minnesotans would recognize their names.
If A Stronger Minnesota’s goals sound familiar, that’s because they are. Parrish said the group is meant to be a direct response to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a liberal group that’s been active in electing Democrats to the state Legislature this year and that played a big role in electing Gov. Mark Dayton in 2010.