Four former top Minnesota GOP staffers seek leader’s ouster

Published 8:30 am Thursday, August 19, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Four former top staffers from the Republican Party of Minnesota on Wednesday accused embattled Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan of running a “morally bankrupt” operation that’s rife with verbal abuse, intimidation and sexual harassment.

All four formerly served as executive director of the state party organization under Carnahan. They issued an open letter calling on Carnahan to resign or be removed when the state party’s Executive Committee meets Thursday night.

“Carnahan ruled by grudges, retaliation, and intimidation,” Kevin Poindexter, Becky Alery, Christine Snell and Andy Aplikowski wrote. “We cannot continue to allow Carnahan to denigrate this organization and tarnish the Republican brand – it is not the Carnahan brand – while continuing to drive well-intentioned, talented, and active Republicans to the curb.”

Carnahan has been under fire over the indictment of a major donor and a college GOP chapter leader on sex-trafficking charges, which reopened old disputes and spawned new ones over her leadership of the state party. Several ex-staffers and College Republicans have stepped forward to accuse her of creating a toxic work environment, KMSP-TV reported.

The chairwoman said in radio interviews Tuesday that she won’t resign. She called donor Anton Lazarro a “political friend” but insisted she knew nothing about the sex trafficking allegations. She has asked the Executive Committee to take a vote of confidence. But she said wants the party’s larger Central Committee to decide her fate.