Shortridge New Minnesota GOP Chair
A veteran tea party activist with deep roots in the conservative movement takes the helm as the new chairman of the wounded Republican Party of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Pat Shortridge – a former aide to House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and a former federal lobbyist for Enron — won the state party’s top job in an emergency meeting held New Year’s Eve to elect a successor to Tony Sutton. The 44-year-old veteran political hand was deeply involved in the 1994 Republican Contract With America and the 2010 Tea Party Revolt.
Shortridge takes over as the party struggles with nearly $1.3 million in debts and another $719,000 in claims from last year’s gubernatorial recount. Shortridge also faces the prospect of finding a big-name candidate to challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
Shortridge – who also worked on tea party-backed freshman Florida senator Marco Rubio’s campaign – said that elections are won on ideas and the Republican Party of Minnesota is rich in bedrock principles, despite its dire financial straits.
“I think it’s important that contrasts are about ideas,” Shortridge said in an interview days after he took over. “I’m not so much a fan of personality contrasts and the political back-and-forth contrasts because, honestly, I don’t care about it, and I don’t think most Minnesotans care about it.”