The Minnesota DFL party owes $700,000.

"I have a whole list of people who are owed money by the party," said Ken Martin, who took over as party chair from Brian Melendez last month.

That debt is about $300,000 bigger than the party released on its last monthly filing. Martin said the size of the debt was a bit of a shocker.

"It's the worst position in the party's history, financial position. So yes, it was a very big surprise," Martin said. He said he hopes to move repay all the debt by the end of the year. "Heading into 2012, I'd like us to have a clean slate. I don't know with this deep of a hole that we are going to be able to get there. But I'm going to do my best."

Martin found a silver lining in the big debt figure.

"Our debt is lower than the Republican party debt, which is, from my perspective, good," he said.

Last month, the Republican party reported that it had about $780,000 in debt.

Unlike Melendez, Martin will be a full time chair. Last weekend, the party's executive committee decided to pay him $108,000 a year.

Martin said that one of the things he is most proud of in all the campaigns he's run is that "I've never left a debt," he said. Martin declined to comment on his feelings about Melendez regarding the debt.

"It is what it is," Martin said.

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