The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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Newly elected chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota Keith Downey addresses the crowd in Bloomington on Saturday. While predicting a 2014 election cycle likely filled with candidate endorsement battles and probable Republican primaries, Downey said: "After that, we come together as Republicans and we go for the win in November." Downey, a consultant to state and local governments on operations and strategy who said he'd shift to full-time work for the party, represented Edina in the Minnesota House from 2008 to 2012. He lost a 2012 bid for a state Senate seat that had long been held by Republicans; in that election, Democrats overturned GOP majorities in the state House and Senate.