There are serious discussions underway among Republican legislators to take up a motion to expel Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth during today’s special session.
GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean said removing Gauthier is “a possibility” when asked about discussions to expel the first-term member. Dean said any member can make a motion when the Legislature convenes for the Special Session at 2 p.m.
The House would need 90 votes to take up the resolution, meaning a block of DFLers would have to agree that Gauthier’s conduct was severe enough that he needs to be removed from office. It would also take 90 votes to expel Gauthier from office. The Minnesota Constitution gives the Legislature the power to govern the behavior of its members and punish them for “disorderly behavior.”
Gauthier said earlier this week that he would not run for re-election after it became public that he engaged in sexual activity with a 17-year-old boy at a public rest stop near Duluth. GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers and other Republicans have called on Gauthier to resign immediately. Democrats have asked him to not run for re-election but have stopped short of calling for his resignation.
Gauthier said he will not attend today’s Special Session because he doesn’t want to be a distraction.