Minn. GOP Chairman Sutton resigns

Published 7:40 am Sunday, December 4, 2011


MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Tony Sutton abruptly resigned Friday, saying he needed to spend more time with his family. His resignation came just over a year after the GOP won stunning victories in the Minnesota Legislature and unseated a veteran Democratic congressman but failed to hang on to the governorship.

Sutton tweeted his resignation, saying it took effect at 5 p.m.

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“I have enjoyed being State Chair, but feel it is best for my family to move on,” Sutton said in his Twitter post.

In a letter to Republican activists, Sutton said he feels “a great sense of accomplishment” with the party’s election victories in 2010. Republicans captured both the Minnesota House and Senate for the first time since 1971, and political newcomer Chip Cravaack upset 36-year Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar in northeastern Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. But the GOP lost the governorship when Democrat Mark Dayton narrowly defeated Republican Tom Emmer in the race to succeed Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who ran for president but later dropped out. Emmer conceded just as a recount was wrapping up last December.

Sutton, 44, said his duties had taken a toll on his family life.