ST. PAUL  (AP) - Deep in debt and dealing with a complete turnover in leadership, the Minnesota Republican Party is limping into a high-stakes election year.

Republicans are increasingly divided over the party's future and trading shots over past losses, particularly the 2010 governor's race.

It comes as the GOP is looking to defend its first-in-a-generation hold on legislative majorities. That's the party's only check on a state government otherwise controlled by Democrats.

The party will meet early next year to select a new chairman to replace Tony Sutton, who abruptly resigned Friday. The party has lost a third of its staff as it copes with a $581,000 debt. And no big-name candidates have stepped up to challenge Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar's re-election.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)