The Minnesota Supreme Court ordered Tuesday that the name of DFL state Rep. Kerry Gauthier of Duluth be removed from the general election ballot and replaced with the party's preferred replacement, Erik Simonson.

The court agreed with the position taken by the DFL Party, which filed the petition to remove the name of Gauthier, who was involved in a sex scandal with a 17-year-old boy at an interstate rest stop this summer.

"We are glad to learn that the Minnesota Supreme Court agrees that Duluth voters should have a chance to choose between the endorsed candidates of the major parties," DFL state chair Ken Martin said in a statement.

Gauthier, who represented district 7B in Duluth, admitted to having sexual relations with the boy outside a rest stop, but was not charged. He later agreed not to seek re-election, and the party endorsed Simonson to take his place.

County officials said it was too late to remove Gauthier's name from the ballot, a decision that would have required Simonson to run as a write-in candidate. The court's ruling replaces Gauthier's name with Simonson's.

Republican Travis Silvers is on the ballot and Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle said he will run as a write-in.


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