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Republican activist Tony Sutton says he wants to lead the Minnesota GOP.

The current Republican Party chairman is Ron Carey, who has held the post since 2005 and has yet to announce whether he will seek to remain in the job. Carey turned back a challenge from military veteran Joe Repya to win reelection two years ago.

Sutton is a former party executive director and former deputy state auditor. He currently serves as the party's secretary/treasurer and owns a chain of Mexican restaurants.

Sutton says that voters punished the party at the polls for what they saw as hypocrisy on core values and that he wants to bring Republicans back to their roots.

The party's central committee holds a leadership election in June.