Updated: October 22, 2021 06:27 PM
Created: October 22, 2021 05:39 PM
New Minnesota Republican Party Chairman David Hann says one gauge of how effective he will be is how seldom his name ends up in newspaper and television headlines.
"I told delegates when I was running that I did not believe and don't believe the party chair is the center of political activity in Minnesota or any state for that matter," Hann said in an interview for "At Issue" that will be broadcast on Sunday morning. "Our candidates really should be the center of attention and part of my goal is to build a party organization that can support those candidates and help them win."
One of Hann's primary duties will be raising money to help support Republican candidates. He'll start at a big disadvantage because his predecessor, Jennifer Carnahan, left party coffers with less than $200,000 and some unpaid bills. That compares to more than $2.2 million raised by the DFL Party.
"Certainly we need to raise money," Hann, the former Minnesota state senator from Eden Prairie, said. "Every party does. But we have no outstanding debt other than some residual bills that have to be paid leftover from the previous administration. So there's not a huge financial problem as far as the party is concerned. We just are like any other organization trying to raise money to get ready for the next election cycle. But I don't know that it's fair to say we have financial problems."
It's fair to say the party has work to do to win its first statewide race since 2006. While several Republican gubernatorial candidates will likely have a tough battle for the party endorsement, Gov. Tim Walz will run unopposed while raising money for the general election.
Hann says he thinks the governor will be vulnerable on some key issues.
"There are issues with public safety, of course, in Minneapolis and how he responded to the riots that occurred," Hann said. "I think his handling of the pandemic. The closing down of businesses. Many of those things are going to be topics we're going to bring up in the next gubernatorial race. So I think there's great vulnerability on the part of Governor Walz."
You can see the entire interview with Hann at 10 a.m. Sunday on "At Issue with Tom Hauser."
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