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Jim Knoblach just issued a statement announcing his candidacy for the Sixth District Chairman seat being vacated by Mark Swanson. Here’s Jim’s statement:

Dear Republican Activist:

I am running for the Sixth District Chair position being vacated by the current chair, Mark Swanson.

For those who don’t know me, let me tell you some things about myself. I was born and raised in Saint Cloud, am married with two children, and have been a long time conservative Republican and small business owner. I have been active in my community, currently serving as a Trustee at Calvary Community Church, and Board member of the local Salvation Army, the Saint Cloud Christian School, and the local Boy Scouts.

I was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1994. During my twelve years in the House I was one of the key Republicans. In 1998 I chaired the House Republican Elections Committee when we took the majority for the first time in 12 years. In 2000, I chaired it again and we kept the majority for the first time in 30 years. In 2002 I was appointed Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, and a week later the State Economist announced we had a $4.5 billion deficit. Working with Republicans, I helped turn that into a $2.25 billion surplus. In 2006 I decided not to seek another term. I never saw myself as someone who would spend a career in the Legislature. I ran for the Republican endorsement for the open Sixth District Congressional seat, but came in second of four contenders to Michele Bachmann. I publicly supported Michele in that election, and have continued to support her since. I returned to the private sector, where I have continued my career as a business owner and entrepreneur.

I am running to advance a conservative Republican message, and help Republicans win elections. Since the time of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, the Republican Party has been more conservative than the Democrats in five major areas: fiscal conservatism, support for the free enterprise system, freedom, limited government, and federalism (the concept of pushing government responsibilities down to the lowest level of government possible). In the past forty years, two other major differences have emerged, as the Republicans have maintained their support for family values and a strong national defense, while most Democrats have abandoned their one-time support of those principles. I believe these core Republican beliefs are the right beliefs for our party, our state, and our country, and do not need to be modified to win elections. However, they do need to be communicated more effectively. As Chair, I would work to accomplish this.

Congresswoman Bachmann was victorious in this last election, but will likely be targeted again in 2010. In addition to helping her win, however, we also need to help our state legislative candidates. The next election will determine which party controls redistricting. Republicans in the State Legislature have barely enough votes to sustain Governor Pawlenty’s vetoes. We need to elect more Republicans at the legislative level while continuing to support Congresswoman Bachmann and other statewide and local Republican candidates. I have successful experience in helping others win elections, and as Chair would work hard to repeat this success.

Thank you for reading this far, and for your interest. Please contact me by e-mail or phone (320-252-6179 if you have any questions or comments. I would appreciate your support.

Sincerely,

Jim Knoblach
Candidate for Sixth District Chair

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Jim over the past 6 years. Jim’s a good communicator, an unapologetic conservative with impeccable fiscal conservative credentials and a man of integrity.

Those are just some of qualities I admire about Jim. They’re also the reason why I’m endorsing Jim Knoblach in his candidacy for the Sixth District Chairman’s position.

During the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with Jim about both policy and winning elections. I’ve been impressed with his understanding of policy and more impressed with his understanding of how to bring people into the Republican party with a message of fiscal restraint, family friendly policies and his ability to communicate with people what the GOP’s priorities are.

One thing that’s missing from Jim’s statement is the role he played in getting Steve Gottwalt elected and re-elected to Jim’s HD-15A seat. Republicans haven’t won elections of open seats the last two election cycles. Jim not only helped Steve win election in a difficult 2006 election but re-election this year.

Now more than ever, we need people in leadership who have put winning strategies together for local candidates and who understand the importance of winning down-ticket races as well as the high profile races.

Jim Knoblach is that man in the Sixth District.

That’s why I’m proud to endorse Jim.

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