The Independence Party of Minnesota elected longtime party activist Jack Uldrich as party chairman Saturday during its annual state convention in Lakeville.

It also created a new position of party director, electing Kari Johnson-Robinson to fill the post. Johnson-Robinson is a veteran IP member and a former candidate for lieutenant governor.

Uldrich will serve as chief spokesman for the party, and Johnson-Robinson will be responsible for the party's day-to-day operations.

Uldrich, a Minneapolis author and business technology forecaster, was the director of the office of strategic and long-range planning during the administration of Gov. Jesse Ventura, who ran on the party's ticket in 1998.

Johnson-Robinson, of St. Paul, is a real estate consultant and instructor at Capella University, said Uldrich. She ran for lieutenant governor in 2006 with gubernatorial candidate Pam Ellison.

JEAN HOPFENSPERGER