David Hann, former Senate minority leader, elected as new Minnesota GOP chair

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The Minnesota State Republican Party has chosen David Hann of Eden Prairie as its new chair to replace Jennifer Carnahan, who resigned from her post in August.

Hann, a former state senator who served as minority leader from 2013-17, beat out Jerry Dettinger and Phillip Parrish for the chairmanship. Another candidate, Leilani Holmstadt was voted unqualified earlier in the committee meeting.

About 350 delegates in the Minnesota Republican Party’s Central Committee cast their votes Saturday at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

Hann said the Republican Party needs strong leadership, and his experience provides that.

"We’re in the business of winning elections and we can have difference of which candidates we prefer all kinds of issues, that’s normal," he said. "We can unite around the fact we have common principles and a common purpose and we will find ways to take those differences and use them as a strength, so we’ll get through this."

Several Minnesota politicians, including former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake; House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown; and DFL Party Chair Ken Martin.

Former GOP Chairwoman Carnahan, who resigned in August amid pressure from within her party, disputes allegations that she fostered a toxic work environment and denies any foreknowledge of prominent party donor Tony Lazzaro’s alleged involvement in an underage sex trafficking conspiracy.