DFL leader moving beyond Gauthier

The top Democrat in the Minnesota House not only wants Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, to end his re-election bid, but he also wants his name off of the November ballot.

House Minority leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, told reporters today that he’s exploring the options under state election law to remove Gauthier’s name.

“It seems to me that there’s a statute that’s pretty clear that creates a mechanism for doing so,” Thissen said.

A law passed after the Republican gubernatorial nominee Jon Grunseth left the race days before the election in 1990 appears to apply only to candidates for constitutional offices.

Police investigated Gauthier for his involvement in a sex act with a 17-year-old boy at a Duluth-area rest stop. Authorities did not press charges against the first-term legislator. But Thissen said in a news release Monday that the conduct was wrong and that he told Gauthier that he should withdraw from the race.

Two DFLers are already planning write-in campaigns. Thissen said he has not talked to either of those candidates. He said he expects a clear path to emerge in the coming days.

“My goal is that we get to a point where we have a unified campaign and that Democrats rally around one individual,” Thissen said. “It’s going to take some additional resources, but those resources are going to be what makes the difference.”

Thissen, who was attending Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign event in Minneapolis, said he thinks Gauthier is still trying to absorb the enormity of the situation. But he added that he expects Gauthier to make a decision about his political future soon.

  • So Democrats are bullying a gay Democrat lawmaker to not run for reelection even though he “didn’t break any laws” and his DFL colleagues don’t want him to resign for his behavior…. again which appears to be perfectly legal.

    Do you think we maybe don’t know the full story?

    I thought Democrats fought for laws to protect homosexuals from bullying and unfair treatment.


  • Adam Baldwin

    Well he actually did break a law, its called statutory rape. He should be railroaded out unless the DFL wants to add rape to their platform of things they support.

  • Peter

    Age of consent in MN is 16, so he didn’t break any laws, much like how Amy Koch and Michael Brodkorb’s adultery isn’t illegal. The whole firing because of the affair is the legal issue, not the breaking apart of two “traditional” marriages with kids.

    Gauthier is being asked to resign because it’s not behavior befitting a legislator. If it wasn’t for the fact that Amy Koch was the senate majority leader and the GOP thought they’d lose her seat in a special election, they’d have asked her to resign as well.

  • Political Friend

    The illegal part of the activity is the sexual activity in public. Let’s not lose site of that. Why Gauthier and his partner weren’t charged for that remains unclear. Sex acts in public does seem to be a legitimate reason for Gauthier to withdraw from the race. Regarding Koch and Brodkorb, not illegal. Immoral, therefore behavior unbecoming for a State Senator. Brodkorb wasn’t fired for having an affair or for being a man who is having an affair. He was let go, because his boss quit. The new boss gets to pick his or her own staff and chose not to hire Brodkorb. Shouldn’t be drama over this unless someone is bitter and has an ax to grind. Hey, he got Amy. For what more could he possibly ask?

  • blueJ

    In regard to the Koch-Brodkorb affair, Sen. Koch immediately resigned her leadership position and soon after, announced that she would not seek reelection. That amount of bloodletting apparently satisfied the senate leaders. She represents one of the reddest districts in the state; it’s doubtful that the Senate Caucus was worried about her seat being lost to a DFLer in a special election.