Minn. Republicans Elect New Leadership Team

Updated: 04/06/2013 6:14 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

The Republican Party of Minnesota on Saturday elected a new leadership team.

Former State Rep. Keith Downey was chosen as party chair, the party reported Saturday after selecting the team at its State Central Committee meeting in Bloomington.

Current party deputy chair Kelly Fenton was reelected for a second-term. Former Minneapolis congressional candidate Chris Fields was selected as party secretary.

“Today we start a new and exciting chapter in the story of the Minnesota Republican Party,” said new Chairman Keith Downey in a statement. “While challenges remain, we can be optimistic about the future of our party. We will be going back out to the people of Minnesota, and I will be encouraging all Minnesotans to take a fresh look at the Republicans.”

Downey served two terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives and was the vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He is a business consulting specialist and was a partner with Virchow Krause Consulting.

Fenton was first elected deputy chairwoman in December 2011. She is a longtime Republican activist and volunteer and former school administrator and teacher. She lives in Woodbury with her husband and three children.

Fields was the endorsed Republican candidate for Congress in 2012 in the 5th District. Fields is a 21-year U.S. Marine veteran and served two combat tours in Iraq. Chris and his wife live in Minneapolis where he runs a successful law firm.

The new leadership terms begin immediately.

The party's current chairman, Pat Shortridge, has promised a smooth transition.