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Republican explores bid against GOP lawmaker who voted for same-sex marriage

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators Updated: September 10, 2013 - 12:49 AM

State Rep. David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville, may net a challenger because of his vote to legalize same-sex marriage.

Republican Eric Lucero, a Dayton city council member, said he is conducting talking to voters to gauge feelings about what he called "the David FitzSimmons vote" in the Wright County district.

Last year, 53 percent of the district voted to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. Statewide, a majority voted against the move paving the way to this year's legalization. Minnesota become the twelth state to allow gay couples to wed in August.

Lucero said he has not decided whether to wage a bid against FitzSimmons.

"I’m not running for the office. I’m simply on a listening tour," Lucero said. The computer security specialist, who lists "studying Biblical truths and treasures found in the Bible" as one of his hobbies, filed a campaign committee last week, which allows him to raise money for a potential bid.

FitzSimmons said he is not concerned about Lucero's potential bid.

"I’m going to run my campaign the way I need to," he said Monday evening.

Of Lucero, he said: "unless I missed something, I see him as a one issue candidate."

FitzSimmons is one of just a handful of Republicans who voted to legalize same-sex marriage earlier this year and one of several lawmakers of both parties who have seen reverberations of their votes to approve such marriages.

Republican leaders in Sen. Branden Petersen district voted over the summer to admonish him for events surrounding his sponsorship of the legalization measure  and, back in May, a Republican activist tried and failed to start a recall of DFL Reps. John Ward and Joe Radinovich because of their votes for same sex marriage. The Supreme Court decided that those votes to not give cause for recall under state law.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, is getting some re-election help from backers of same-sex marriage. Former Republican state Rep. Laura Brod, Ameriprise lobbyist Brian Pietsch and former Pawlenty-era Revenue Commissioner, now lobbyist, Ward Einess are hosting a fundraiser for Garofalo this week with invites that read: "He stood up for marriage equality. Now it’s time to stand up for him!"

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