Minnesota GOP elects a new chair

After three rounds of voting, David Hann emerged as the winner over three other candidates.

Newly elected Minnesota GOP Chair David Hann (center) poses with Sen. Paul Gazelka and their wives Saturday after his election. (Paul Gazelka/Twitter)

The Minnesota GOP elected a new chair Saturday following the dramatic resignation of Jennifer Carnahan in August. 

After three rounds of voting, David Hann emerged as the winner over three other candidates at Saturday’s State Central Committee meeting. In the final round of voting, Hann secured 53% of the vote, compared to businessman Jerry Dettinger’s 45%, according to journalist Rebecca Brannon. 

The Eden Prairie resident was a state senator from 2003-2017 and served as minority leader of the Republican caucus for four years. 

Carnahan resigned as chair in late August after Republican donor Tony Lazzaro was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges. Some party insiders claimed that Carnahan “actively encouraged” Lazzaro’s “complete immersion into the party structure and the homes of activists and donors.” She also faced allegations of creating a toxic work environment, with former staffers accusing her of ruling “by grudges, retaliation, and intimidation.” 

Carnahan, who received a $38,000 severance, denied the allegations and said she was being defamed. 

Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin congratulated Hann on his election.