ST. PAUL  (AP) - A Minnesota business executive who is a contender for state Republican Party chairman has been arrested for failing to update his motor vehicle registration.

Brandon Sawalich was detained Thursday afternoon by airport police officers who noticed his expired registration while he was circling the terminal. A police report describes the charge as intent to escape motor vehicle taxes as a gross misdemeanor.

Sawalich is a favorite to replace Tony Sutton, who resigned his GOP post abruptly this month. Another candidate, former state Rep. Mike Osskopp, entered the race Thursday night. The party will choose the replacement on Dec. 31 in St. Cloud.

Sawalich was released on his own recognizance. An email message left with Sawalich was not immediately returned.

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