Twenty-one people across Minnesota have been announced as members of a leadership team supporting Carly Fiorina as she runs for president.
The co-chairs will be Republican state Senate Minority Leader David Hann and Molly Corrigan Cronin, who co-chaired the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Elephant Club fundraising committee in 2013-2014. Cronin also serves as a board member of the Center of the American Experiment.
“Carly Fiorina is challenging the status quo with a fresh, outsider perspective that brings solutions into a debate mired with old, stale destructive squabble from the professional political class,” Cronin said in a written statement.
Mike McFadden, who lost the 2014 U.S. Senate race to Al Franken, will serve as vice chair of the team. Several state lawmakers, including Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point and Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, also have signed on.
Fiorina's campaign did not organize the leadership team. Instead, it was organized by the CARLY for America SuperPAC as a way to bring Fiorina's Minnesota's backers together. The 21 people, however, are not tied to the SuperPAC and may become campaign surrogates for Fiorina in the future.
It isn’t clear whether Fiorina herself will hire staff to help her win the precinct caucuses on March 1, 2016. But the announcement of the group is a signal that Fiorina has a network of support in the state.
Fiorina received plenty of buzz after her performance in last week’s debate. Several recent polls show her gaining ground on front-runner Donald Trump.
The group organizing behind Fiorina isn’t the only presidential activity in Minnesota.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has formed an organizing committee. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have also attended fundraising events in the state. Update: According to MinnPost, Rand Paul also has paid staff in Minnesota. The campaign also paid for a booth at the Minnesota State Fair.
Democrats Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley have raised money locally.
Correction: This post has been corrected to clarify that the leadership team is independent of the Fiorina campaign and has been organized by the CARLY for America SuperPAC.
Here’s the full release from the CARLY for America SuperPAC:
Minnesota Republicans Announce Their Support For Carly Fiorina
They cite Carly’s leadership, her ability to challenge the status quo and her achievements on her business record
SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, twenty-one GOP leaders in Minnesota join the growing list of supporters across the United States to support Carly Fiorina as she runs for president. Minnesota Senate Minority Leader David Hann and Molly Corrigan Cronin join as co-chairs supporting Carly Fiorina. Mike McFadden will serve as vice-chair. Mary Amlaw, Mike Campbell, Professor Teresa Collett, Don Evanson, Mike Franklin, Senator Paul Gazelka, Randy Gilbert, Liz Gorham, Greg Johnson, Councilmember Judy Johnson, Professor Kent Kaiser, Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, Margaret Martin, Representative Jim Nash, Michelle Rifenberg, Senator Carrie Ruud, David Strom and Dan Wolter join as part of the leadership team in Minnesota.
Molly Corrigan Cronin:
“Carly Fiorina is challenging the status quo with a fresh, outsider perspective that brings solutions into a debate mired with old, stale destructive squabble from the professional political class. Her business background and wide range of experiences have left me to believe she is the best GOP candidate in this election, and I am proud to support her as she runs for president.”
Senator David Hann:
“The aspect of Carly Fiorina that causes me to admire her most is her ability to easily communicate complex policy ideas. As a veteran, I have been impressed by the breadth and expertise Carly has demonstrated concerning our military operations. I have firm confidence in her ability to be Commander-in-Chief of this great nation and lead America in a resurgence of world leadership.”
“Carly Fiorina had an excellent career in business that was cap-stoned by a historic achievement by being named the first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company. While she was there, Carly improved the culture of Hewlett-Packard in every way. The positive results of Carly’s tenure at HP are proven. As someone who has made his career in business and finance, I have a lot of respect for Carly Fiorina’s career and achievements. She’s proven she’s a great leader and that’s why I enthusiastically endorse her in her bid to be the next President of the United States.”
Other members of the leadership team:
Professor Teresa Collett
Senator Paul Gazelka
Councilmember Judy Johnson
Professor Kent Kaiser
Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
Representative Jim Nash
Senator Carrie Ruud
Together, these Republicans join a growing group of Americans nationwide who have been moved to support Carly’s candidacy because of her willingness to challenge the professional political class and take on the status quo. They will help build a grassroots network of support in Minnesota and communicate why Carly’s unique and impressive background is what we need in the next President of the United States.