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Rep. John Thompson says he will not resign, despite growing calls for him to do so

He spoke briefly Monday morning at a press conference organized by his supporters.
John Thompson

Rep. John Thompson, facing calls from DFL leaders to resign amid a resurfacing of past domestic violence reports, said once again on Monday he has no plans to leave his seat.

Thompson, as a rally by his supporters outside the Minnesota State Capitol Monday morning, declined to answer questions about the years-old allegations, saying there were legal ramifications and his attorney was not present. He also would not answer questions about his city of residence, with press conference organizers citing his safety.

He did, however, make a brief statement when asked about resigning, stating clearly he will not do so.

"I will not remain silent and I will not be resigning," he said.

His wife, Lea Austin-Thompson, spoke at the press conference, stating emphatically she has never been abused by Rep. Thompson and castigating the news media for making her out to be a victim.

Thompson, a first-term DFL legislator from St. Paul, has been in the spotlight since a July 4 weekend traffic stop, in which he accused the police officer of racial profiling. The police department released video footage of the stop in the days that followed, citing the "circumstances surrounding the incident."

In the video he shows the police officer a Wisconsin license. That led to questions about Thompson's residency — and, by extension, his eligibility to serve as a Minnesota state representative.

Further digging by FOX 9 uncovered domestic violence-related police reports from 12 and 18 years ago. While these weren't followed up with formal assault charges, it was enough to prompt Republican and DFL elected officials, including Gov. Tim Walz, to call for Thompson's resignation.

He has not done so, and as of Monday morning, appears to have no intention to do so.

During this saga, he was also sentenced for a misdemeanor related to a 2019 disturbance at North Memorial Hospital. 

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