Convention sends two from Edina and Bloomington to Cleveland

The 2016 Republican State Central meeting and Convention convened in Duluth on Friday afternoon.  The delegates and seated alternates contributed to several important actions.  The National Committeewoman and National Committeeman were elected.  Fourteen delegates and eleven alternates were selected to go to the Republican National Convention.  An amendment was approved to the MN Party constitution to adjust the process for vetting and endorsing judicial candidates.  

Perhaps most important, the consensus of the convention was that the Minnesota GOP would align itself with the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump. 

Doug_Seaton.JPGBarb_MNGOP.JPGTwo members of SD 49 were picked to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.  Doug Seaton was elected as a Rubio delegate and Barb Sutter was elected as a Trump alternate.  The full list of elected delegates and alternates is at the end of this article.

Janet Beihoffer was re-elected as National Committeewoman, and Rick Rice was elected National Committeeman.

The selection at the Congressional District 3 convention of Linda Presthus to be a Presidential Elector was confirmed at the State Convention.  She will be one of ten President Electors from Minnesota.

The delegates in Duluth voted not to endorse a candidate for Minnesota Supreme Court.  Then they proceeded to accept the recommendation of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee to, in essence, fold the judicial endorsement process into that of the legislative districts. The constitutional amendment provided for a more unified process for endorsing candidates for Minnesota judges and constitutional offices (e.g., Governor, Secretary of State, etc). 

The Convention also approved the work done by the State Platform Committee.  They aligned existing planks to the correct sections, combined resolutions that are similar, eliminated planks that are no longer germane, and resolved those that conflict with other planks.  In a new initiative, the Committee also summarized all of the resolutions which passed one or more congressional district conventions this year.  Delegates approved the proposal that this “Action Agenda” be shared with statewide legislative leaders as the “resolutions expressing grassroots concerns,” which they should consider as a basis for their election campaigns and subsequent legislative agenda.  This “Action Agenda” will be posted on website.  

The Star Tribune coverage of the Duluth convention in its Sunday edition quoted Barb Sutter regarding the need to fully acknowledge Donald Trump’s broad appeal. Her remarks actually came from her one-minute speech asking to be elected as an alternate.

SD 49 demonstrated again the commitment of our delegates and alternates.  With the ability to seat 45 delegates and alternates, we are tied with SD 34 as the sixth largest BPOU in Minnesota.  Only the BPOUs of Wright County, Ohmstead County, Carver County, Scott County, and SD 33 are larger. We were at full voting strength.  Thanks to the patience and support of the alternates and some timely decisions by the co-chairs, all state convention alternates got to participate in a significant portion of the proceedings.        


Minnesota will be sending 38 delegates and 35 alternates to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. 

Twenty-four (24) delegates and 24 alternates were previously elected at the eight Congressional District conventions. 

The following three senior Minnesota Party executives are automatically delegates:

  • Keith Downey (MN GOP Chairman)
  • Janet Biehoffer (MN National Committeewoman)
  • Chris Tiedeman (MN National Committeeman)

The following delegates and alternates were elected by the convention:


  • David Fitzsimmons
  • Pat Anderson
  • Matt Pagano
  • Doug Seaton
  • Jennifer Carnahan


  • Chris Kauffman
  • Becky Hall
  • Marjorie Holsten
  • Vicki Froelich


  • Sheri Auclair
  • Julie Ann Schmidt


  • Vladimir Lifson
  • Aly Eichman
  • Jason Cole
  • Rebecca Brannon
  • Juliette Jordal


  • Kip Knippel
  • Ken Murphy
  • Dan Willett
  • Christine Pierson


  • Barbara Sutter
  • Carl Strickland