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Monday, November 28, 2005

Anti-gay Brainerd Republican Party Chair Resigns

From the Brainerd Dispatch, October 4, 2005. (Register, and search on "Brian Lehman" to get the story).

Nisswa woman to lead Crow Wing GOP
Republican chair Brian Lehman resigns position
Associate Editor
Crow Wing County Republicans have elected Kay Gunnarson of Nisswa as their county chair, replacing Brian Lehman.

Gunnarson said Lehman resigned last week, citing his intent to spend more time working with the Salvation Army Board and the Lakes Area Pregnancy Support Center.

Lehman declined to comment Monday on his resignation.

Gunnarson, a Nisswa resident, had been deputy chair. She said her selection by the county's executive committee was unanimous. Dale Walz, a former state lawmaker and member of the executive committee, also said Lehman's resignation was voluntary. The meeting was conducted at the Sawmill Inn in Brainerd.

There were behind the scenes manoeverings here.

In April, Lehman criticized Sen. Paul Koering's failure to vote with other GOP lawmakers on a procedural vote related to the Defense of Marriage Act. His comments came after Koering, a Republican from Fort Ripley, announced he was gay. Lehman went on to predict that Koering's sexual orientation could result in political problems if it causes him to "vote the wrong way."

Gunnarson said Lehman's resignation had nothing to do with his earlier criticism of Koering.

And I have a bridge to sell you....

Rep. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, contacted Monday, said he had not yet heard that a new chair had been elected. He said he had been out of town for his father's funeral.

My guess is Gazelka wasn't too happy. Apparently he is one of the looniest anti-gay nutjobs over at the legislature.

Koering, who was at the executive committee meeting, said he appreciated Lehman's service as chair and wished him well.

MIKE O'ROURKE can be reached at or 855-5860.

Sen. Paul Koering is to be congratulated on this one. This is a good sign for the Republican party. Some of the most viscious anti-gay nuts in the GOP are in the Kandiyohi County party. That Kandiyohi Republican committee is very much responsible for Senator Dean Johnson leaving the Republican party. He's a huge loss to the Republican party. He irritated the nutcases by voting for, and giving an articulate speech in favor of the 1993 human rights act including gays.