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Minnesota lawmaker accused of sexual harassment could seek his old seat

Former Rep. Tony Cornish is reportedly considering a run for his old House seat.

A Minnesota lawmaker who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations is weighing another shot at the Capitol in 2020.

According to the Mankato Free Press, former Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) confirmed he is considering returning to public life after leaving in 2017. Two women accused Cornish of sexual harassment that November before he eventually resigned.

One of those women, former Rep. Erin Maye Quade (DFL-Apple Valley), provided local media outlets suggestive texts that Cornish later admitted he had sent, but claimed were a joke. 

The other woman, a lobbyist who wished to remain anonymous, also alleged Cornish had sent her suggestive texts and made explicit comments to her during a meeting. Cornish denied those allegations. 

Several of Cornish’s colleagues, including former Speaker of the House Kurt Zeller (R-Maple Grove), stated the lawmaker should resign.

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Cornish officially left his seat Nov. 30, 2017. Cornish was not the only state lawmaker to face allegations of sexual harassment as the MeToo movement came to the forefront that year. Former Rep. Dan Schoen (DFL-Saint Paul Park) also faced allegations and resigned shortly after Cornish.

If Cornish does run for his former seat, which covers the area south of Mankato, he will run against Republican Rep. Jeremy Munson. Munson was elected in a special election following Cornish’s resignation.

The news that Cornish may seek public office again sparked outrage from some on social media.

Cornish has yet to confirm a run. 

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