Ruling: Gauthier had Right to Withdraw from Race

Updated: 12/05/2012 1:28 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

The Minnesota Supreme Court says the Democratic Party had the authority to put another candidate's name on the ballot after Rep. Kerry Gauthier decided he would not seek re-election for his Duluth-area legislative seat.

Gauthier announced plans to withdraw in August, after he had a sexual encounter with a 17-year-old boy. Democrats named Erik Simonson as their new nominee.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court explained the reasons for its pre-election ruling that allowed Simonson's name to replace Gauthier's.

The justices concluded the law allowed for Gauthier's withdrawal, and gave Democrats the authority to fill the vacancy on the ballot.

The Supreme Court also said write-in candidate Jay Fosle's argument that he should also be placed on the ballot as well had no statutory basis.

Simonson won the November election.

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