State Republicans rebuild their credibility

It was $2 million in debt. It was behind on rent. It was suffering a rapid loss of trust and supporters. This was the Republican Party of Minnesota in 2012. The end of the party seemed like an inevitability, and its credibility would no doubt disappear as well.
Fast-forward a few years, and the Republican Party of Minnesota now has a new chairman and several new employees. They’ve moved to a contemporary workspace in the Seward district of Minneapolis as part of an effort to be closer to the people.
Seeing the loss of credibility his party faced, Keith Downey resolved to run for chairman in 2013. As an experienced former Minnesota representative for District 41A, he helped oversee a budget plan dedicated to cutting costs, making better business decisions and paying back the massive debt that had accrued from the 2012 election. 
Since he was elected, Chairman Downey has worked to reduce the state budget deficit and resolve the MNGOP’s debt crisis.
Once some of the debt was reduced, Downey was able to hire an extensive, well-qualified group of employees to advance the party. Among these employees is Melissa Hamilton, the new political director. One of Hamilton’s jobs is outreach. She is helping to rebrand the party as the “Growth and Opportunity Party,” and she has worked to improve the image of Republicans. 
One of the party’s main initiatives is the Solution Center, which provides a place to see the most important issues facing Minnesotans today — and what the Republican Party is doing today to solve them. 
Another new MNGOP program is the Red to the Roots initiative, which provides training, resources and plans to the Basic Political 
Organization Units (BPOUs) before the 2016 election. 
By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each BPOU, the MNGOP can provide strategy and tools to reach specific groups within their districts.
These are just a few of the programs that signal a significant turnaround for the Republican Party of Minnesota. When asked about the future of the party, many Republicans agree that 2016 will be a winning year. 
In the upcoming election, the staff of the MNGOP should hope to bring the motto of the party to life — it’s a party of growth and opportunity.
Nick Solheim 
Minnesota Daily reader