After a week of increasing adverse news initially about the party’s ties to donor Tony Lazzaro and later about the toxic atmosphere at MNGOP headquarters, the state Executive Committee met the evening of August 19 in open session. The members had been expecting to consider a vote of no confidence in Chair Jennifer Carnahan.
The Chair did not attend the meeting in person, but she remained in contact with the proceedings. When the meeting convened, Deputy Chair Carleton Crawford immediately moved that Carnahan be granted a large severance package in return for her resignation. The subsequent debate centered around the size of the severance package.
Carnahan ultimately broke a 7-7 tie, voting in favor of granting herself a $37,000 severance. With that vote, Carnahan’s resignation took effect immediately.
Several of the members of the Executive Committee and several members of the senior staff also stepped down, all of whom Carnahan had appointed or hired. These individuals included the Finance Chair Jennifer Larson, the Executive Director, the Political Director, and the head of the Personnel Committee Mary Frutiger, The Treasurer Mark Laxalt will stay on long enough to enable a smooth transition.
In accordance with the state party constitution, the Deputy Chair, Carleton Crawford, will carry out the duties of the Chair until a new Chair is elected. Also staying on are the MN GOP Secretary, David Pascoe; the National Committeewoman, Barb Sutter; the National Committeeman, Max Rymer; and virtually all of the Congressional District representatives to the state Executive Committee. The CD1 representative, Gary Stuart, elected to step down in favor of Jerod Spilman, CD1 Chair.