Ex-Gov. Quie laughs off Republican ban

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Al Quie
Former Republican Gov. Al Quie has been banned from the state GOP because he supported a rival gubernatorial candidate. The the Republican State Central Committee banned 18 prominent Republicans over the weekend for publicly endorsing Independence Party candidate Tom Horner. The ban lasts two years.
MPR file photo/Tom Weber

When Al Quie found out he was banned from the Minnesota Republican Party, he laughed.

"I've got a long history," Quie said. "My grandfather supported Lincoln. That's the first time the Republican Party won the presidency!"

Quie, who served as Minnesota governor from 1979-1983, was one of 18 prominent Republicans banned from the party this weekend.

The GOP's State Central Committee barred them from party activities for two years because of their public support for Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner.

Horner, a former Republican, came in third in this year's election, but he garnered more than 250,000 votes. Tom Emmer, the Republican Party's endorsed candidate, trails Democrat Mark Dayton in the race by about 8,700 votes.

An automatic recount has left Dayton's lead intact. There are only about 1,000 ballots in dispute, although results are still unofficial.

Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson and former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger, R-Minn., were also banned for supporting Horner.

Quie, 87, doesn't agree with the party's decision, but he's not worried about it, either. As a practical matter, he hasn't been involved in party affairs for years, beyond attending his local precinct caucus.

Still, he doesn't think it's a good idea for the party to punish dissenting voices.

"If they're upset at us, I really don't blame them. I've been upset at Republicans who didn't support me," Quie said. "But what they are doing is refusing to listen to people who have an opposite view, and that's necessary in a party."

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