New GOP chair assembles team to help dig out of debt
April 12, 2013 — 5:34pm
Keith Downey, the new Republican Party chair, assembled a mix of new names and old names helping him raise and track party cash.
After a rough few years, the party has nearly $1.7 million in debt, down from a high of nearly $2 million.
Downey, who was elected on Saturday, appointed Brandon Sawalich as chairman of the party's Finance Committee and hired Dana Alpeter as the party’s fundraiser. He also appointed Robbie Burkhart as the finance committee vice chair.
Bron Scherer, who took over as treasurer as the party was righting its books last year, will remain as treasurer.
Sawalich, senior vice president of Starkey Hearing Technologies, has a long history raising and donating to Republican causes. He briefly ran for Republican Party chair in 2011, after the former chair suddenly resigned. He is president of the Minnesota Freedom Club, which spent nearly $2 million last year to elect Republican lawmakers and defeat Democratic ones.
The party said Burkhart is the CEO and CIO of Blue Rock Advisors and Alpeter "is a small business owner who joined the Minnesota fundraising effort of Mitt Romney for the 2012 election cycle."
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."