Chairman of Minnesota Independence Party resigns

ST. PAUL - The chairman of the Minnesota Independence Party has resigned to take a new job in Florida, just four months after taking over the post.

ST. PAUL – The chairman of the Minnesota Independence Party has resigned to take a new job in Florida, just four months after taking over the post.

Mark Meyer "received a career offer that he could not turn down" and stepped down, said an email to party members from Meyer's replacement.

The resignation is the latest setback for the Independence Party, which lost its major party status after failing to earn 5 percent of the vote in the 2014 election.

Meyer was elected to a two-year term in June to replace former chair Mark Jenkins.

Dave Sullivan-Nightingale, an Independence Party candidate for St. Paul City Council, wrote in a Facebook post that Meyer "has been a wealth of knowledge about good governance in local communities."

Philip Fuehrer will serve as the party's interim chair.

In an email to party supporters, Fuehrer cast the party's prospects in a positive light. "While Mark's departure could have dampened spirits, our five months of work on our jointly created strategic planning is already showing results," Fuehrer wrote. "Our restructuring, re-branding and candidate plans for 2016 are all well underway."

Fuehrer said the party is trying to recruit candidates to run for Congress next year in at least five of Minnesota's eight districts, as well as competing for a "half-dozen" local races.

The party's high-water mark came more than a decade ago when Gov. Jesse Ventura was a member of the party.