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Minn. Republicans looking ahead after 2012 losses

BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Republicans are admitting to a 2012 "thumping" in an election in which they say they lost a messaging battle with Democrats. But party leaders who met Saturday in Blaine say they're ready to look ahead to 2014.

Last month Republicans surrendered control of both chambers of the Legislature and lost many competitive races.

They say an all-Democratic state government will help galvanize the Republican party ahead of a high-stakes election year two years from now.

A governor's race and a U.S. Senate contest will top the ticket. A few prospective candidates made the rounds at the GOP meeting but none has announced a campaign.

The party also has other challenges. For example, it will enter the next election cycle $1.5 million in debt.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.