Republicans vote against re-endorsing Michelle MacDonald

May 20, 2016

DULUTH, Minn. — Michelle MacDonald’s campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court this year will have to proceed without support from the Republican Party of Minnesota.

MacDonald won the GOP’s endorsement in 2014, when she lost to incumbent justice David Lillehaug 53.2 percent to 46.5 percent. But the party disavowed her after reports of a driving while intoxicated arrest, leading to a dispute in which MacDonald sued the party and was ejected from its booth at the Minnesota State Fair.

This year, MacDonald was the only candidate to ask for the party’s endorsement. A committee assigned to consider the matter judged her qualified and recommended the party endorse her again.

But a blistering dissent from two members of that committee said MacDonald was unworthy of a spot on the Supreme Court. By a voice vote after more than half an hour of discussion, the GOP state convention voted against endorsing any candidates.

MacDonald can still run for the court seat currently held by Justice Natalie Hudson this fall without the party endorsement. She filed for the race on Friday. Also in the race are Hudson and Craig Foss.

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a jury’s conviction of MacDonald for refusing a blood-alcohol test and obstructing legal process during a 2013 arrest. She had been acquitted of a misdemeanor drunken driving charge in the case.

 

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