Kerry Gauthier drops out
Minnesota state legislator Kerry Gauthier, who was discovered participating in decidedly restless activity with a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop earlier this month, has decided to abandon his re-election bid.
Gauthier had been insisting he would remain in the race despite pleas from his DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) leadership, but now he’s told the Associated Press, “I changed my mind. Too much. It’s just too much.”
According to the New York Daily News, Gauthier has also begun talking about a 30-year history of “chemical dependency” with “one relapse,” although he didn’t specify the nature of his addiction. He is still resisting calls to resign his office immediately, but will skip an upcoming special session of the Minnesota House of Representatives, because he thinks his presence would be a “distraction.”
This leaves the DFL in a bit of a pickle, because it’s too late for them to replace Gauthier on the ballot. They’ll have to run a write-in candidate, which could make his previously “safe” district a bit more competitive.
It’s possible that other parties in other states might consider this “write-in candidate” idea to get around embarrassing candidates who refuse to step aside, although no particular examples spring immediately to mind.