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Carnahan to run for 3rd term as Minnesota GOP chairwoman

MINNESOTA (FOX47) — The chair of Minnesota’s Republican Party is running for a third term.

Jennifer Carnahan made the announcement in a news release on Thursday morning. She was elected as the party’s first Asian American chairwoman in April 2017.

Carnahan is married to Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01).

The Minnesota native was recently elected to the Republican National Committee’s Executive Committee. She also leads the Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus.

“Our party is stronger than we were four years ago and I’m running again because I believe it’s important to build on the successes we’ve achieved, keep stable leadership in place and ensure our party remains on the right track as we head into the 2022 elections,” Carnahan said.

While Carnahan has led the state GOP, Minnesota Republicans flipped three U.S. House Seats from Democrat to Republican.

That includes Hagedorn’s win in 2018 over Dan Feehan, which flipped Minnesota’s First Congressional District red. Gov. Tim Walz had given up that seat in order to run for governor.

Hagedorn won himself a second term with another victory over Feehan in 2020.

Carnahan also said she helped eliminate the state party’s “legacy debt,” which she said ran at $1 million when she took over.

She is an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump. She helped campaign for Trump in Michigan, Florida and Nevada.

After the 2020 presidential election, she claimed “extreme data abnormalities” in Minnesota’s voting results, without providing any evidence.

The next day, she cited higher voter turnout in 2020 for Democrats in Wright and Carver Counties compared to previous elections. But election officials in both counties found no evidence that would put the outcome of the vote in doubt.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon later called the election fraud claims “foolish and irresponsible,” saying there is no credible evidence votes were manipulated. Carnahan responded on Twitter, saying “it is not foolish and irresponsible to point out data abnormalities and seek transparency.”

Carnahan will face a challenger in State Sen. Mark Koran in her campaign for a third term. He launched his bid in November, telling the Star Tribune that Republicans need an “overhaul” to win the race for governor in 2022.

Walz is eligible for another four-year term, but he has not said if he’s going to run.

Byron Tollefson

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