You can take the candidate out of the race. But the ballot? That's another story.

Sixth District DFLer Maureen Reed announced last night that she was dropping out of the race to unseat Michele Bachmann, leaving Tarryl Clark as the only DFL candidate challenging the Stillwater Republican.

But not so fast. The filing deadline to withdraw from the primary ballot was Friday, June 3.

John Aiken with the secretary of state's office told the Star Tribune last night that, since the deadline had passed, Reed's name will appear on the primary ballot this August.

Trevor Willett, a spokesman for the Reed campaign, acknowledged that Mark Ritchie's office holds all the cards.

“Over the weekend we weren’t able to get a hold of the Secretary of State, so we’re going to talk to him this week and see what the options are," Willett said. "I know the official deadline ended Friday. I don’t know if they can indicate on the ballot the status of the campaign or whether there’s a procedure where you can take your name off after the deadline has passed."

Willett said the withdrawal deadline was "on our radar" but not a "determining factor" in the decision to leave the race.

In the end, Reed's presence on the ballot will likely prove more confusing to voters than a real threat to the Clark camp.

"We won't be actively campaigning, so I don’t think we’ll accidentally win,” Willett said.

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