Lt. Col. Joe Repya. a former Republican running for governor as an Independence Party candidate, is dropping out of the governor's race, he said Sunday night.
"It has become clear to me that, much like the DFL and the GOP parties in this state, the (Independence Party of Minnesota) fails to stand by its own rules and principles. At issue, the (party's) decision to essentially nullify the state convention endorsement process," Repya said. "This action, in my opinion, severely damages the IPM's chances of truly becoming a viable and strong third party option....Their action will further erode and (tarnish) the IPM brand while relegating it to a permanent position of political "spoiler.""
In a letter to the Independence party executive board, Repya said the party reversed procedures it put in place earlier this month, regarding delegate data, for the benefit of one candidate.
Repya leaves behind four Independence Party candidates for governor, and almost two dozen Republican and Democratic candidates.
Fifth congressional district Independence Party chair Peter Tharaldson had this to say about Repya's departure --
The 5th CD organization supported by vote the most strident limitations to any data release tonight, far more than any wanted by candidate Joe Repya...
The rules which Repya supported, were simply consensual rules articulated by the party director that all candidate communication to delegates go through the party
That rule originally was nothing more than structural and impacted each candidate equally...The truth is that the change tonight, even though not supported by the 5th CD delegate, provided the data equally to all candidates and represented a benign action in terms of one candidate over the other.
And here's Repya's full letter to the Independence Party's executive board --
Dear IPM Executive Board,
I hereby suspend my candidacy for the Independence Party of Minnesota 2010 Governors race. My decision follows the decisions today of the Executive Committee of the Independence Party of Minnesota (EC IPM) to reverse its stated rules and procedures outlined by the IPM Director in her letter to the candidates on February 5, 2010, and provide all candidates with party proprietary delegate data. The decision today makes it painfully clear that the IPM is no different then the DFL and GOP when it comes to being influenced by big money candidates.
It is important to the voters of Minnesota that they have a legitimate third party gubernatorial candidate as an option on November 2, 2010. However, by the actions of the EC IPM has proven that it has no philosophical base to allow it to follow its own rules and procedures. Rather, it proves that the IPM just wants to pretend that it is a big fish a small pond. The action by some candidates to ignore the delegate processes for the State Convention Endorsement Convention will in my opinion severely damage IPM and fail to unify and grow the party. The action will further erode an already tarnished brand and relegate it to a permanent position of political “spoiler.”
As a matter of principle, I can not ask my family or my supporters to participate in a campaign where one candidate can force rule changes that does not allow an open, transparent and a fair political process to take place. I truly regret that I must take this action but it is the proper thing to do under these circumstances.