The Scott County GOP unanimously voted to censure incumbent Minnesota Sen. Eric Pratt for failing to abide by the party endorsement, according to a press release.
Pratt is continuing on to the primary after losing the endorsement to outsider candidate Natalie Barnes, a nurse.
Scott County GOP spokesman Dale Even said Pratt, who currently represents Senate District 55, initially promised to support the endorsement process.
“It’s really concerning that just because Eric Pratt didn’t get his way that he’s choosing to divide our Party rather than uniting behind our great candidate Nurse Natalie Barnes to get a win in November,” Even said.
“It’s incredibly selfish that with so much at stake with inflation running rampant, no real leadership in D.C., crime on the rise, failing schools, and the state and country headed in the wrong direction, Pratt seems only worried about his political career and is threatening our chances here in Scott County to help save our state and country,” he continued.
A handful of Republican incumbents in the Minnesota Legislature lost the GOP endorsement to challengers during local party conventions earlier this year.
Barnes (and three other endorsed candidates) said she was cut off from state party voter data over the weekend. Barnes was also recently endorsed by GOP-backed gubernatorial candidate Dr. Scott Jensen.
“Eric Pratt has cavalierly dismissed the will of hundreds of delegates and alternates by not abiding by the endorsement he asked to receive just because he didn’t get his way,” Even added. “This is not the type of representation Scott County Republicans deserve.”
A censure is mainly symbolic and won’t have any practical impact on Pratt’s ability to run in the Aug. 9 primary.
Due to redistricting, Pratt is competing against Barnes in the newly-drawn Senate District 54, which includes Shakopee, Prior Lake, Jordan and the surrounding areas.
Pratt was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2012. Alpha News reached out to Sen. Pratt for comment but did not receive a reply.
Update: Pratt issued a statement on his Facebook page late Tuesday night responding to the censure and falsely claimed that Alpha News never reached out to him.
Pratt said it was a board “composed of his opponent’s supporters” that decided to “unnecessarily censure” him.
“Primaries are common in the political process and running in one does not warrant a censure,” he said.
Pratt also responded to an Alpha News article published Tuesday in which Barnes claimed she was worried Pratt had access to the GOP’s database. Pratt called this a “completely baseless statement that is entirely false.”