Disecting MN House 7B Race

By KBJR News 1

November 7, 2012 Updated Nov 7, 2012 at 12:41 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - One race that won't be final until late Tuesday or early Wednesday is the State House District 7B race.

That's because it's a three way race with only two of the candidates listed on the ballot.

Late Tuesday night, results showed DFL endorsed Erik Simonson with a commanding lead in the race.

What happened here made this a wild ride for all the candidates. It began when incumbent Representative Kerry Gauthier stepped down amidst a sex scandal. But removing his name from the ballot was not a slam dunk.

It took a State Supreme Court decision to do it and then another battle over whether the DFL could add newly endorsed candidate Eric Simonson to the ballot.

But it didn't end there.

Jay Fosle chose not to seek any party endorsement, but still felt he had a right to a spot on the ballot.

The State Supreme Court allowed Simonson, but not Fosle. Fosle chose to continue an aggressive write in campaign, winning an endorsement from the Duluth News Tribune.

Through it all, Republican endorsed candidate Travis Silvers remained on the ballot.

By the time the Supreme Court had made its decision on the Gauthier/Simonson situation, ballots had already been printed.

New ballots had to be created with St. Louis County taxpayers footing the bill of an estimated $20,000.

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Kevin Jacobsen
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