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Gay sex in woods trips up Minn. lawmaker

Aug. 21, 2012 at 4:50 PM   |   Comments

DULUTH, Minn., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A fellow Democrat has announced plans to mount a write-in campaign against a Minnesota state lawmaker who admitted having sex with a 17-year-old boy.

State Rep. Kerry Gauthier will be on the ballot in November even if he obeys the party leaders who have urged him to withdraw from the race, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Patricia Turgeon, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office, said Minnesota law does not allow candidates to be removed from the ballot once the primaries are over.

Gauthier, who represents a Duluth-area district, had sex with a 17-year-old in a wooded area near a highway rest stop. The teen allegedly responded to an ad Gauthier placed on Craigslist.

Police have said neither Gauthier, 56, nor the teen face criminal charges because the age of consent in Minnesota is 16.

"His actions are inexcusable," said Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. "The people of Duluth deserve a representative who will stand up for their interests, without the sort of distractions that Rep. Gauthier has caused through exceedingly poor judgment."

Duluth City Councilman Jay Fosle has already launched a write-in campaign for the seat. Gauthier, who has a Republican opponent, won the heavily Democratic district in his last election with 73 percent of the vote.

Gauthier, who spent a few days in a hospital last week after experiencing shortness of breath, has not made himself available for media interviews, the Star Tribune said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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