Despite sharp memo from state GOP chairman, Supreme Court candidate stays on ticket

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 24, 2014 - 6:14 AM

Suspected of drunken driving, Michelle MacDonald meets more opposition.

On the same day that Republican-endorsed Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald was blasted in a memo sent by the state party chairman, she affirmed that she will not give up her endorsement and will continue her campaign.

MacDonald has faced mounting criticism after it was reported earlier this summer, following her endorsement, that she had been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and resisting arrest last year.

She was also ticketed in Wright County earlier this month for violating the terms of her limited driver’s license. Last week, MacDonald was ordered by security to leave the Minnesota Republican Party’s State Fair booth after she was banned because of the pending drunken-driving case.

On Saturday, MNGOP Chairman Keith Downey sent a memo to party delegates saying that MacDonald remained the party’s endorsed candidate. However, Downey said her campaign controversies were taking a toll on the party.

“Unfortunately, this whole episode and her candidacy is undermining the conservative argument for electing judges and judicial restraint, and is also calling into question the merit of endorsing judicial candidates,” he wrote.

Downey said that information about MacDonald’s legal issues and “her legal and judicial philosophy” are now known to delegates, which they did not know when they voted for her endorsement.

In addition to her legal woes, Downey said MacDonald’s campaign had raised just $120. Plus, members of the executive committee were concerned that MacDonald and her campaign team could be using the endorsement for “their personal pursuits,” Downey said. He also referenced the State Fair incident.

MacDonald said that she was contacted by an attorney Saturday with a formal offer on behalf of the party to repudiate her endorsement.

A spokeswoman for the MNGOP said that no formal offer was given to MacDonald by the party. The spokeswoman also said that the attorney doesn’t speak on behalf of the MNGOP.

Downey’s memo was one of a few recent public jabs at MacDonald.

The executive committee received a memo from a group of conservative attorneys last week saying that she was unfit to be a Minnesota Supreme Court justice.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden also said in a statement Saturday, “Given her recent behavior, I’m concerned that Michelle MacDonald does not have the temperament to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court.”

 

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495 Twitter: @stribnorfleet

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