Members of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Judicial Election Committee stand by their decision to recommend attorney Michelle MacDonald be considered for endorsement by the Republican’s at their state convention last month for the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Last week, the Star Tribune reported that MacDonald was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and resisting arrest in 2013. MacDonald’s trial is scheduled for September.
MacDonald’s arrest was known by numerous Republicans, including members of the Judicial Election Committee, but some in leadership positions of the Republican Party of Minnesota claim they were unaware.
Ayrlahn Johnson, a member of the Judicial Election Committee who voted for MacDonald to be recommended for endorsement, said he stands by his vote "without a doubt." Johnson added that MacDonald being recommended by the Judicial Election Committee and later being endorsed by the full convention "shows the process works."
When asked if the news about MacDonald’s arrest made him reconsider his decision to support MacDonald’s candidacy, Bonn Clayton, a member of the Judicial Election Committee from Chanhassen responded, "absolutely not."
MacDonald’s past legal issues show, according to Clayton, that MacDonald was "abused by the court and that’s politically dynamite for [Republicans]."
Ron Niemala, who was appointed to the Judicial Election Committee by Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey, sent Downey an email today, calling on him to "get behind [MacDonald] as you have with ALL endorsed candidates."
Niemala added that MacDonald "deserves the support of the party that stands for the underdog and fights for rights and freedoms. Promote Michelle and what she has done. Do not shy away from statements made that imbue her character."
The Republican Party of Minnesota’s State Executive Committee will meet on Thursday evening and the controversy surrounding MacDonald’s endorsement will likely be discussed.
Picture source: Republican Party of Minnesota