Ex-Minn. GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan, party settle competing lawsuits over her ouster

Published 9:36 pm Thursday, November 16, 2023

By Dana Ferguson, Minnesota Public Radio News

Former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan and state party leaders on Thursday announced a settlement agreement following a dispute over the former GOP leader’s ouster.

Following mediation, Carnahan agreed to drop her civil lawsuit against the GOP and the party will end a counter lawsuit.

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Carnahan sued the party last year alleging that leaders made public remarks about her that kept her from getting a new job. She sought at least $50,000 in damages. The party immediately lodged a case against her, alleging mismanagement by her that had been detrimental to the GOP.

The cases had been moving toward a trial early next year, with a deadline for each side to turn over documents approaching in a few weeks.

The stipulation agreement filed Thursday calls for the lawsuit and countersuit to be dismissed with prejudice without awarding damages or attorneys’ fees.

On Thursday, Carnahan told MPR News that she opted to drop the civil case because she wanted to move on.

“I’ve moved forward to a much more positive and better place in my life. It didn’t serve anyone, well, myself or the party,” Carnahan said. “And Republicans need to get out there and win next year. And so I want to be able to be a part of that team and effort, and I felt this was the best thing to do for everybody involved.”

Carnahan resigned as party chair in 2021 amid allegations of a hostile work environment and other internal troubles. She was paid about $38,000 when she stepped down.

In a statement, GOP officials said they were pleased the “baseless’ lawsuit wouldn’t move forward.

“After the mediation, she gave up her case without the party paying her anything,” the party statement said.

“Now the Republican Party of Minnesota can continue our singular focus on solving Minnesota’s real problems, including flipping the Minnesota House in 2024 and stopping the reckless spending and overreach by the DFL trifecta,” the party’s statement reads.