Skip to content

Minnesota Republicans Plan for the Future

2013 January 31
by WCR President Linda Stanton


by Elise Gardner


Minnesota Republicans Plan for the Future


Over 300 Republicans from all factions of the party gathered at the Blue Fox Grill in Arden Hills, MN last night to listen to suggestions from a panel of campaign strategists, party leaders, district chairs and coordinators and representatives from party affiliates to start planning for the future of the GOP. The panel was hosted by Real Capitol View and Look True North.

While the variety of sometimes conflicting opinions did cause some friction, this was an important first step to creating a stronger and more focused party. Momentum created last night will need to continue as the MNGOP moves towards electing a new party chairman this spring and selecting candidates who will unseat DFL U.S. Senator Al Franken and Governor Mark Dayton next year.

While many ideas for moving the party in the right direction were discussed such as; focusing on fiscal issues, reaching out to independents, creating a stronger social media presence, and providing better training for candidates, few specific solutions were given. However, the media outlets that were present – and have since published their analyses of last night’s event – have missed the overall themes that seemed to resonate within the crowded room. These overall themes shine a beam of light into the gloom and doom that is perceived to be the current state of the Republican Party of Minnesota.



If the GOP is the party of small government, then it needs to be the party of small government across the board. Members of the Republican Party agree that we cannot argue for smaller government, fiscal responsibility and more individual freedoms in some areas, but not in others. Our candidates cannot be viewed as credible when they argue these points while campaigning,  but continue to pass legislation that grows government, spends more money and decreases personal freedom. Republicans know that we need to practice what we preach or get off the pulpit. We will be looking for candidates that will follow through on their promises, others need not apply. Candidates will need to be principled and party members are looking for new ways to hold them accountable once elected.


We know the importance of connecting with individuals and are learning how to go about it successfully. Walter Hudson, a panelist representing the Minority Liberty Alliance seemed to understand this above all others. Our party has been talking about handouts when we should be talking about glass ceilings. We argue for decreasing benefits and cutting programs, but forget to promote increased opportunities. We need to go to communities throughout Minnesota and get to know the people that live in them. We need to ask what their wants and needs are, what their hopes and dreams are. We need to show them that we are the party that believes in them, that believes that they can succeed.  If we show that we believe in them, they will begin to believe in us. Conservative groups are reaching out and the party is beginning to follow their example.

The Big Tent 

The GOP has been painted as the party of no, a closeminded maze with no entrance and too many exits. However, Republicans are beginning to focus more on outreach than ever before. We are beginning to realize that we need to not only lay out a welcome mat, but place a big, flashing sign out front and many smiling faces ready to say hello like friendly Walmart greeters. We know we need to go out to individual voters and find ways to bring them to us.


These three themes ruled the night and showed that while the Republican Party was knocked down, we are certainly not out. Yes, party members have disagreements, sometimes we take jabs at each other. There are factions within the party and there will always be factions. However, that is not a bad thing. It’s much like visiting extended family on Thanksgiving. We may pick at each other, we may make snarky comments and try to provoke each other, but in the end we are all family.

We can find common ground within our party. If we can find common ground within our own party, we can find common ground with independents, libertarians and conservative democrats. We will be in fighting shape come the next election cycle.  Sure, we stalled there for a while and we have some work to do, but if we continue the momentum that began to build last night we can succeed. We will be back in the ring in no time.



Comments are closed.