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DULUTH-Minnesota Representative Kerry Gauthier (DFL-Duluth) says he will not resign but he will suspend his re–election campaign after a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old boy.
The first term politician representing District 7b went back and forth on the decision on Wednesday, first telling media he was staying in the race before sending out short messages that he changed his mind.
Gauthier only recently talked publicly about his actions last month at the Thompson Hill Rest Area. Police reports revealed more about the DFLer - detailing his use of Craigslist to find a sexual partner online.
The decision to end his campaign comes after a fellow representative in District 7, Tom Huntley, called Gauthier "a child molester" (in a Duluth News Tribune Interview) for performing oral sex on a 17-year-old boy in the woods behind the Thompson Hill Rest Area.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, also a part of the DFL party, expressed his feeling about Gauthier's decisions on Wednesday as well.
"It fits what I consider to be a very serious error in judgment and one that doesn't serve his constituents well. It doesn't serve him well to continue to press on," Dayton said during a press conference.
Initially defying that advice, Gauthier gave an interview with another Duluth television station saying he was staying in the race.
Less than five hours later the Representation made quick calls across the state to make a retraction – adding that a recent hospitalization was after a suicide attempt using pills.
He admits his overdose last week was cause by taking too many muscle relaxants when his activity first hit the news.
Gauthier said he is entering a recovery program and exiting the public eye. He does not plan to participate in a special session dealing with Flood Aid on Friday.
Gauthier did not outline what kind of treatment he is getting.