Minnesota Lawmaker, Facing Sex Scandal, Ends Reelection Bid
(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — Disgraced Minnesota Democratic State Rep. Kerry Gauthier decided late Wednesday night that he will not seek reelection after he was caught having sexual contact with a 17-year-old. But that hasn’t appeased some at the Minnesota State House — they want to expel Gauthier from the legislature now.
The move to expel Gauthier, so that he cannot serve out the rest of his term, will be started Friday, sources tell ABC News.
Last week it was revealed that Rep. Gauthier had engaged in oral sex with a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop in Duluth in July. He has since apologized for the incident, but the political outcry in Minnesota has been swift and strong, some accusing him of being a “child molester.”
Friday morning, the sources said, Republicans will hold a meeting where a resolution will be ironed out. Sources say that there is a “high likelihood” there will be a formal effort to bring him to resign or expel him Friday.
Minnesota Republican State Rep. Steve Drazkowski said many Republicans wanted to bring a resolution to the floor quickly, but were not confident that they’d get the two-thirds majority needed to pass it. They would need 90 votes out of 134 in the state legislature.
“I’m not sure though if there’s the 90 votes, even if there is a lot of support,” said Drazkowski.
Late Wednesday night Gauthier announced that he would not seek election to a second term.
“I am done,” Gauthier told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I just need to take care of myself right now, and I am not really up for that kind of fight.”
Gauthier, from a consistently Democratic district, was under pressure not only from Republicans but from heavyweights in his own party who, in light of the sex scandal, wanted to replace him with another Democratic candidate.
The announcement that he would not run for reelection was a reversal. He was defiant at first after the sex scandal broke, promising to stay in the race. Earlier in the day Wednesday he had promised he was still running despite heavy pressure for him to go.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio