Minnesota GOP ends 2020 with $250K in debt

The Minnesota GOP has reportedly “reduced the hours for the majority of full-time staff due to financial challenges.”

Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan talks with reporters. (Minnesota GOP/Instagram)

Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan touted the party’s financial security in announcing her reelection bid, but new campaign finance reports show that the party has more than $200,000 in debt.

According to state and federal year-end reports for 2020, the Minnesota Republican Party had $55,478 in cash on hand and $255,030 in debt at the end of the year.

The Minnesota DFL Party ended the year with $2.4 million in cash on hand and $10,000 in debt, according to state and federal reports.

Here’s the breakdown for the Minnesota GOP:

  • Ending cash balance in state account: $8,446
  • Debt in state account: $0
  • Ending cash balance in federal account: $47,032
  • Debt in federal account: $255,030

And for the Minnesota DFL:

  • Ending cash balance in state account: $722,940
  • Debt in state account: $0
  • Ending cash balance in federal account: $1,693,546
  • Debt in federal account: $10,000

Blois Olson reported Tuesday that the Minnesota GOP has “reduced the hours for the majority of full-time staff due to financial challenges.”

Carnahan responded to the reports in a Facebook post and said criticism of the party’s financial state is typical for a chair election year.

“It’s unfortunate that every time there is a chair race, a group of folks in our party present misrepresentations that hurt our party in their efforts to try and win a chair election,” she said. “I have always believed that we are responsible to build, grow, unite and work together, despite our differences. Because our world is made a better place with diversity of thought and acceptance of one another’s differences.”

Carnahan explained that Democrats failed to take the Minnesota Senate, and this was a big win. “While the Democrats reported the 2020 year ending with $2.4 million cash on hand, they failed in their #1 election priority, which was to win back the majority in the Minnesota Senate,” she wrote.

Carnahan also listed the GOP’s 2020 outreach efforts and said her team “left it all on the field.”

She then cited the defeat of former Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson at the hands of newly-elected Republican Rep. Michelle Fischbach, though it should be noted that Trump easily won the district by double digits and Republicans lost two races before Peterson was finally defeated.

“We retired a 30-year incumbent member of congress who also happened to be a committee chair of the important Agriculture committee. We held our majority in the MN Senate, we won back five seats in the MN House (reducing the Dem advantage), we held onto the two congressional seats we flipped in 2018 (MN-01, MN-08) and we got Minnesota targeted by a presidential campaign in a very large and important way,” said Carnahan.

Importantly, Carnahan said that since the 2020 year-end financial reports were filed, the Minnesota GOP has raised “nearly” $200,000, “a feat we should all be proud of in a non-election year.”