Yesterday, former Rep. Keith Downey announced that he is a candidate to replace Pat Shortridge as chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota:

A former state representative says he wants to be the next head of the Minnesota Republican Party.

Edina’s Keith Downey told fellow Republicans on Wednesday that he’ll vie for the party chairmanship in early April. Current chairman Pat Shortridge is stepping down.

Downey was a two-term House member before he tried to move up to the state Senate. He lost that race in November. Downey says the Republican Party is due for a turnaround with a critical 2014 election cycle looming. The governor’s office, a U.S. Senate seat and many more key offices are on the line.

First, this isn’t an endorsement, mostly because I won’t have a vote on RPM Chair. This post is merely this activist’s opinion on what Rep. Downey brings to the table.

It’s bound to sound corny that Rep. Downey is one of the great thinkers of the GOP and the conservative movement. If Rep. Downey is elected to be the next chairman of the Minnesota GOP, the GOP’s message discipline would significantly improve. Keith Downey is a great conservative who knows why he believes what he believes.

In his letter to state convention delegates, Rep. Downey said something that’s sure to resonate with the activists:

As a businessman and recent State Representative, I hope to earn your confidence with the right combination of principle, skill and experience, and a concrete plan for the gains we need to make.

As a legislator, Rep. Downey earned a reputation as a reformer and strong fiscal conservative. I suspect he’ll have a plan to transform state GOP operations. That’s been his history as a legislator.

Good luck to all the candidates. This is a crucial time in Minnesota’s history. If the GOP doesn’t turn this state around soon, the DFL will significantly damage Minnesota for a decade or more.

3 Responses to “Downey announces candidacy for GOP State Party Chair”

  • eric z says:

    “First, this isn’t an endorsement, mostly because I won’t have a vote on RPM Chair. This post is merely this activist’s opinion on what Rep. Downey brings to the table.”

    I don’t follow the logic of that. It surely reads as an endorsement, and that’s First Amendment speech, and whether you have a vote in some inner party stuff is irrelevant to your endorsing the guy, isn’t it?

    It’s something like Michele Bachmann being able to endorse people she likes in the Sixth District, even while she lives and votes in the Fourth. Or am I missing something?

    I think Andy at Residual Forces is keeping a scorecard of all the position seekers.

  • walter hanson says:


    Michelle did move to the sixth district.

    As for the nonedorsement which you’re critizing keep in mind Gary is trying to say hey this is what I think we need the chair of the Republican party to think. Besides since you’re a liberal democrat I thought you wouldn’t care who is our party chairman let alone who Gary endorses.

    Of course maybe the real reason why you’re upset is that Dowling is an adult that will help promote the Republican party agenda and make them a force in 2014 that the Democrats won’t like.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Bob J. says:

    I’d be curious to see how Downey — or any conservative — would deal with the RuPaul wing of the party.

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