Minnesota GOP treats primary battle wounds and looks to unify ahead of November

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ST. PAUL, MN (Gray DC) - The Minnesota Republican Party is trying to come together after a primary campaign split voters. Minnesotans made their choices, now the party is focused on November 6, the date of the general election. GOP leaders say unification is not going to be all that hard.

“To have every single one of our federal and statewide candidates win their primaries, it really is a resounding note of confidence for the grassroots, for our party infrastructure,” said Jennifer Carnahan, Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party.

A hotly contested gubernatorial race saw former Governor Tim Pawlenty go at it with the GOP endorsed and triumphant Jeff Johnson. Carnahan says there was minimal inner-party damage.

“I think people are motivated about electing a Republican governor so that we can have total control over state government and start to make some real change in Minnesota,” said Carnahan.

It is tough sledding for Republican candidates going up against Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidates in a liberal-leaning state. Tim Walz (DFL-MN) is Jeff Johnson’s new opponent.

“It didn’t matter who they picked on the other side because the divisive message will stay the same,” said Walz at his election night event.

Johnson says he is confident in his message as November nears. He says he is not worried about bringing Pawlenty supporters into his corner. He says that process is already underway. Johnson is focused on bringing over Independents and undecided voters.

“They want to be listened to by government and they don’t feel like they are right now. That’s not partisan at all so I think that message really resonates with Independents and some Democrats,” said Johnson.

As the GOP treats its primary battle wounds, the DFL plans to do the same. Current Governor Mark Dayton (DFL-MN), Tim Walz and the DFL-endorsed candidate Erin are planning to hold a joint press conference Thursday.