Murphy wins Freeborn County Republican straw poll for governor

Published 7:49 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy won the GOP straw poll for governor Tuesday night amongst participants at the Freeborn County Republican Party caucus.

Mike Murphy

Murphy received 75 out of 230 votes, or 32.6%, while the next leading candidate, former state Sen. Scott Jensen, received 64 votes or 27.8%. 

State Sen. Paul Gazelka received 45 votes, or 20.9%; Kendall Qualls received 22 votes, or 10.2%; Neil Shah received five votes, or 2.2%; and Sen. Michelle Benson received four votes, or 1.7%. Fifteen people said they were undecided.

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Freeborn County Republican Party Chairman Robert Hoffman said over 300 people attended the party’s Tuesday caucus, which he said was great for a non-presidential election year.

“As the chairman for the county Republicans, I couldn’t be more proud of the excitement level we’re seeing,” Hoffman said. “Metro Minnesota doesn’t reflect the values of southern Minnesota, and in Freeborn County every Republican candidate on the ballot won during the last election. This election seems to mean even more to Minnesota because of the governor, attorney general and secretary of state races.”

Hoffman said he was surprised to see the county straw poll winner be Murphy but was also surprised to see how few votes other candidates received. He attributed this to the many new people participating in the caucus.

He said he wasn’t surprised to see Jensen win the statewide poll.

“If these two examples tell us anything, it is that we will have a very interesting election season ahead, and I’m looking forward to it especially with everyone that has chosen to get involved with us locally now,” Hoffman said.

Jensen received 38% of all votes in the statewide poll, with Gazelka coming in second with 14% of votes.

Minnesota Republican Party Chairman David Hann said there was a strong showing of enthusiasm from Republicans all across the state Tuesday and the party is excited and unified for the opportunity to make their case to voters and elect Republicans this fall.

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin in a response to the statewide Republican poll results said Jensen has put lives in danger by lying about the COVID-19 vaccine for his own political gain.

“His success last night underscores the fact that all the leading Republican candidates for governor put politics before the health and safety of Minnesotans,” Martin said. 


Freeborn County straw poll results

Mike Murphy: 75 votes, 34.9%

Scott Jensen: 64 votes, 29.8%

Paul Gazelka: 45 votes, 20.9%

Kendall Qualls: 22 votes, 10.2%

Undecided: 15 votes, 6.5%

Neil Shah: 5 votes, 2.2%

Michelle Benson: 4 votes, 1.7%

— Information from the Freeborn County Republican Party


Minnesota poll results

Michelle Benson: 1,265 votes, 7%

Paul Gazelka: 2,435 votes, 14%

Scott Jensen: 6,816 votes, 38%

Mike Murphy: 1,970 votes, 11%

Kendall Qualls: 1,992 votes, 11%

Neil Shah: 2,162 votes, 12%

Undecided: 1,161 votes, 7%

— Information from the Republican Party of Minnesota