Minn. Rep. Kerry Gauthier announced this afternoon that he would not seek re-election to House District 7B after reports of a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old boy became public.

While the furor over U.S. Rep. Todd Akins’ “legitimate rape” comments dominated news coverage, Gauthier’s story flew quietly under media radar until it was picked up by the U.K. Daily Mail and spread by Twitter users citing a media double-standard.


Police called to a Duluth-area rest stop July 22 found Gauthier, 56, engaged in oral sex with a 17-year-old boy whom he’d arranged to meet via Craigslist. No charges were filed, but state Democrats urged Gauthier to step down for the good of the party.

“I have reconsidered and I am withdrawing from the race. That’s my statement,” Gauthier told reporters today. Gauthier did not say he would resign, however.

Democrat Minority Leader Paul Thissen, among those calling for Gauthier to step aside, called the withdrawal from the race “an end to an unfortunate chapter.”