DFL to Endorse New Candidate, Gauthier Still on Ballot

By KBJR News 1

August 23, 2012 Updated Aug 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Incumbent Representative Kerry Gauthier may have left the District 7B race after the sex scandal, but his name will remain on the ballot, along with the Republican competitor Travis Silvers.

This means the newest candidates vying for Gauthier's seat will have to run write-in campaigns.

Voters will have to remember their names when they make their way to booth this Fall.

The DFL is currently setting up an endorsing convention for early September to find a new candidate to back, after Gauthier dropped out.

The local DFL party chair says it's important the party unites behind one candidate, because write-in campaigns can be a challenge.

At the convention, the delegates must give at least 60 percent of the vote to one candidate to make an endorsement.

"As party chair, it's my goal to make sure that everyone seeking the DFL endorsement has a fair and sort of equal shot at it and this will genuinely be a choice, the decision made by the delegates that show up to the endorsing convention," said SD7 DFL Party chair Johm Schwetman.

"This is a really awkward situation. We don't have the chance to vet people through a primary. When I first ran for the 7B seat as a house member, there were seven of us in the primary...What we're going to have is an endorsing convention, and it's going to be one, where we're going to stay there until somebody is endorsed, and we're going to all have to get behind that person," Senator Roger Reinert of Duluth.

So far, only candidate Erik Simonson, a Duluth fire fighter, is publicly seeking the DFL convention.

Candidate Jay Fosle, a Duluth City Councilor has decided to run, but not under any party affiliation.

Both Reinert and Schwetman believe there could be more candidates coming forward as the DFL convention comes closer.

With Representative Gauthier's name on the ballot, he could still win, and that's why the state DFL party is working to find any avenue they can to change what's on the ballot, and to make it easier for the write-in candidates.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike