Gauthier changes mind, drops re-election bid

State Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, announced Wednesday morning that he was moving ahead with his re-election campaign. By evening he had changed his mind, forced out of the race by the furor surrounding his acknowledgement last week that he met a 17-year-old for sex at a highway rest stop.

State Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, reversed course in less than a day and now says he is not seeking re-election to his legislative seat. Gauthier says staying in the race would be too hard on him emotionally.

In an exclusive interview with Barbara Reyelts at Northland's Newscenter Wednesday morning Gauthier said he would let voters decide his future amid a sex scandal.

Gauthier also said that after what he called a “media storm," he took several muscle relaxants and was found unconscious and taken to the hospital. He says that too was unacceptable.

Following the interview, the state representative issued a lengthy statement apologizing to his family, friends and constituents and addresses his battle with chemical dependency over the last 30 years.

Leaders from both parties have said he ought to step aside after he had a highly publicized sexual encounter with a 17-year-old at a highway rest stop.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday said it was a mistake for Gauthier to stay in the race. A fellow DFL representative called Gauther a "child molester," the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Even DFL House leader Paul Thissen said Gauthier should not be on the ballot.

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