Independence Party elects leaders, amends platform at state convention

Hamline professor David Schultz delivers the keynote at the 2013 IP Convention

Hamline professor David Schultz delivers the keynote at the 2013 IP Convention

The Independence Party of Minnesota elected a slate of party leaders, amended its platform and passed a series of resolutions at the party’s 2013 convention in St. Cloud on Saturday.

Delegates re-elected Mark Jenkins of Maplewood to a second full term as state party chair. Kyle Lewis of Eden Prairie was elected the party’s new director.

“The Independence Party is committed to building a more prosperous Minnesota for everyone,” said Jenkins. “I am honored for the opportunity to continue that effort, and I’m excited to get true problem solvers elected throughout the state.”

New party secretary Ben Thome of Minneapolis and re-elected treasurer Sally Paulsen of Arden Hills round out the party leadership team.

Delegates amended the IP platform to lift the party’s ban on PAC money and to support the legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana.

The body passed a resolution in support of the chair’s effort to hold state government accountable to a constitutionally balanced budget. Delegates also called on party leaders to advocate for solutions to gaps in campaign spending transparency as highlighted by Minnesota’s “F” grade in a recent study by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

The afternoon concluded with an agreement to hold the party’s 2014 convention in Mankato.

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