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Local leaders cancel planned 'no confidence' vote in MN House leader after he appeared at meeting

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota legislature, Republicans Updated: January 21, 2014 - 11:08 PM

Republican leaders in House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt’s district canceled a planned vote of “no confidence” in him Tuesday night.

Daudt, R-Crown, showed up at the his local Republican activists’ meeting Tuesday night and the leaders decided not to vote on a no confidence motion. At the meeting, he gave his local Republican leaders an explanation of what happened during his run in with the law in Montana last September.

“We wanted to get his side and we got it and we are happy with his explanation,” said Tony Crego, one of the leaders at the meeting. “After we talked with him...we felt there no reason to hold any kind of vote.”

Before the meeting, two of the members of the local Republican executive board said Daudt had not led as the fiscal conservative they thought he would be and he failed to reach out to them regarding what happened in Montana.

“We feel that he does not have our best interest in mind,” said Dan Denno, chairman of the District 31 Republicans, Tuesday afternoon.

Two weeks ago, Daudt publicly acknowledged that he was involved in a gun-related dispute during a road trip to Montana in September. Before KSTP-TV reported on the incident, Daudt had said nothing about it.
According to Daudt and public records, he and a 24-year-old friend drove to Montana on Sept. 7 to buy a vintage Ford Bronco. After picking up the vehicle, Daudt and the seller got into an argument about the Bronco’s condition.

As the argument grew heated, Daudt’s friend, Daniel Benjamin Weinzetl, allegedly went into Daudt’s car, picked up Daudt’s loaded handgun and pointed it at the seller and his family, according to court records. Montana police later caught up with Daudt and his friend and handcuffed them both. Daudt was not charged with a crime. Weinzetl was charged with three felonies related to the incident.

“Wrapping the whole thing up seems to be very poor judgment,” Denno said before the forestalled vote.

Daudt spoke to some Republican House members about the incident after the first television report aired. But Denno and Jack Rogers, a Minnesota Tea Party leader and office holder with Daudt’s local Republican group, said Daudt never reached out to any of the GOP district leaders about it.

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