ST. PAUL, Minn. - In this day and age, lawmakers have a difficult time surviving sex scandals and Representative Kerry Gauthier from Duluth is no different.
Gauthier, still in the wake of a sex scandal, said Wednesday he would not continue to seek a second term. However, he did not say he will resign from the remainder of this one.
Gauthier didn't explain why he is staying on, but did clear the air today about his sexual orientation, which has become public fodder after it was learned that he had consensual oral sex with a 17-year-old boy at a Duluth area rest stop in July he had met online.
"I can change my behavior but I cannot change the fact that I am a gay man and have known this since my college days. I simply must act like a mature gay man would act and not as this incident portrays me," Gauthier said.
But besides the scandal, a now open seat in the House that will still carry his name on the ballot is another matter.
On Friday lawmakers will meet in special session to discuss how to help the city of Duluth get back on its feet after the historic flooding.
Gauthier represents Duluth so some say he needs to be at the session.
"If he is going to draw a paycheck from the public sector he should be doing his job and be here on Friday to represent his constituents and advocate on their behalf," Governor Mark Dayton said when asked about Gauthier.
But there is also the political backlash.
Representative Gauthier is a black eye to the DFL party in many folk's minds right now so showing up to govern alongside them could be risky
Gauthier did not respond to any of our messages asking him about Friday's session.
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