Republicans are now looking to 2014, when Democrats Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken are up for re-election and control of the state House is back on the ballot.
“What’s the last thing Democrats want? It’s a united Republican Party speaking the truth to the people of Minnesota, and that’s what I’m going to do if I’m your chair,” Downey said. He said Republicans needed to reach out to voters from constituencies traditionally viewed as Democratic.
“They have branded themselves the party of the poor, that they stand with the poor,” Downey said. “Republicans will never be content to stand with the poor in their poverty. We will link arms with them and walk out of it.”
No Republicans have yet launched campaigns against Dayton or Franken. A number of potential candidates worked the room at Saturday’s gathering.
“I hope that the Democrats think we are dead,” said House Republican Leader Kurt Daudt, who talked up the importance of also reclaiming legislative control. “Because they’re going to get a rude awakening in 2014.”