Minn. Wants Renewed Reform Party
Mar. 21, 2000
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Less than a month after Gov. Jesse Ventura led the Minnesota Reform Party out of the national organization amid growing unrest and concerns about policy, other activists want to re-establish the party in the state.
Cedric Scofield, the Midwestern regional representative for the national Reform Party, said Monday that a founding convention has been scheduled for April 7 in Minneapolis.
Earlier this month, the Minnesota Reform Party broke from the national party over concern about unrest in the party and growing support for presidential hopeful Patrick Buchanan's conservative views. The Minnesota chapter changed its name back to the Independence Party.
Scofield said the main purposes of the founding convention will be writing a party charter and electing delegates to the national convention. While a presidential candidate will not be endorsed, Scofield and other activists who gathered in St. Paul said they support Buchanan.
Scofield said Independence Party members and Ventura would be welcome to join. ``They are the ones who went away and disassociated,'' he said.
Rick McCluhan, the chairman of the Independence Party, played down the impact a renewed Reform Party would have on third-party efforts in Minnesota.
``The Reform Party is not really going to be much of a factor other than putting forth Pat Buchanan as a presidential candidate in this state,'' he said. ``Beyond that, I think they have a half-dozen activists, and that's about the extent of it.''
Ventura's spokesman said the governor would not comment.