Former MN GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan received unemployment benefits after being ousted

Former MN GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan, who was ousted from her leadership position last August amid allegations of leading a toxic organization plagued by sexual harassment and bullying, has received more than $8,000 in unemployment insurance, according to a campaign finance disclosure she filed.

Carnahan also said he received $125,006 from the Minnesota Republican Party last year. She received a severance package of $38,000 which she voted to give to herself in exchange for her resignation. Unemployment benefits were reported for the first time by conservative activist Jeff Kolb.

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, a person must be unemployed through no fault of their own, such as having been made redundant.

A Carnahan spokeswoman, Brandon Wear, said she was out of work for two months after stepping down as president to care for her late husband, U.S. Representative Jim Hagedorn, who died in February of a cancer. Carnahan also reported income of $195,750 in 2021 and 2022 from Hagedorn’s congressional salary.

Carnahan is now running for her late husband’s seat, a race that has been mired in drama and family feuds.

Hagedorn’s mother, stepfather and sister have filed two lawsuits against Carnahan for reimbursement after they covered Hagedorn’s cancer treatments, claiming they had received assurances from Carnahan that she would reimburse them a once she would have received the death benefits and life insurance payout from Hagedorn. The money — totaling more than $20,000 — is not listed on Carnahan’s Congressional campaign finance disclosure.

Hagedorn’s family claim in their lawsuit Carnahan received $174,000 in death benefits and an additional $174,000 in life insurance, although those payments were also not listed in Carnahan’s campaign finance disclosure . Carnahan says income is tied to probate.

Meanwhile, Carnahan loaned his own campaign to at least $225,000.

Hagedorn’s sister, Heidi Hagedorn Katz, donated $1,000 campaign of Carnahan’s opponent, Jeremy Munson.

Carnahan has called on Munson to withdraw from the race following revelations that he is linked to a political consultant who is accused of rape.

Brad Finstad, another Republican running in the First District, was approved by US Representatives Pete Stauber and Michele Fischbach.

The GOP special election primary will take place on Tuesday, May 24. Voters in the district will choose a replacement for Hagedorn when Minnesotans cast their ballots in the state’s primary on Aug. 9.

First District Democrats endorsed former Hormel Foods Corp. CEO Jeff Ettinger at their recent convention.

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