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Home / News / Fellow Duluth DFLer Tom Huntley calls Kerry Gauthier “a child molester”
Just hours after the announcement of Rep. Kerry Gauthier's decision to defy his party and seek reelection, the scathing DFL reactions are piling up in bunches. The most extreme denunciation came from Gauthier's colleague Rep. Tom Huntley, who also represents Duluth. "As far as I'm concerned, he's a child molester," Huntley told the Duluth News Tribune.

Fellow Duluth DFLer Tom Huntley calls Kerry Gauthier “a child molester”

Rep. Tom Huntley

Just hours after the announcement of Rep. Kerry Gauthier‘s decision to defy his party and seek reelection, the scathing DFL reactions are piling up in bunches. Gauthier’s plan to run, despite the highly publicized scandal resulting from his reportedly engaging in sexual acts with a 17-year-old male outside of a Duluth area rest stop, has been uniformly criticized by Gov. Mark Dayton, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and DFL chair Ken Martin. The most extreme denunciation came from Gauthier’s colleague Rep. Tom Huntley, who also represents Duluth.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s a child molester,” Huntley told the Duluth News Tribune.

Huntley went on to question whether Gauthier still belongs in the House, saying the DFL should withdraw its endorsement and “kick [Gauthier] out of the caucus.”

After a week of silence following the first news of a police investigation into the July 22 incident, Gauthier finally addressed the issue publicly this morning in an interview with the Northland News Center and subsequently released a statement to the Duluth News Tribune. In the statement, Gauthier called the incident a “tragic embarrassment to me,” but wrote that he decided to run after consulting with friends and family.

Gauthier’s full statement is reprinted below:

My name is Kerry Gauthier and i have the honor of representing the people of district 7B for the last two years in the MN State House of Representatives. I am here to address recent incidents regarding myself and announce response to these incidents and my future plans.

The recent incident at Thompson hill that involved myself and a young man was all over the press and has been an obvious tragic embarrassment to me. I am sorry for the hurt this has caused my family, friends and my constituents. I know I made a mistake and am determined to make amends as best i can. i am a better person than this incident would indicate and will try to demonstrate this with my future behavior. i can change my behavior but i cannot change the fact that i am a gay man and have known so since I was in college. I simply must act as a mature gay man would act and not as this incident portrays me.

I also need to recommit myself to my sobriety program. i am a chemically dependent person and have been in recovery for over 30 years with one relapse. However when faced with the trauma and public shame brought about by this incident i reverted to old bad behavior and tried to run away and escape the reality that I was facing I took an overdose of pills to not feel any pain and this resulted in my hospitalization. i am again aware of the foolishness of this effort and must rededicate to my sobriety in order to survive. fortunatley i have many who are willing to help me in this effort.

there are those, particularly in st. paul that have publicily stated that i should resign my position and/or withdraw from the reelection effort for house seat 7B

In consultation with my friends and family members, I have decided to let the people of central and west Duluth make that decision.

I plan to continue in my relection efforts and ask the voters in district 7B to accept my sincere apology and make their judgement of me based on my vigorous advocacy of the interests of the district at the capitol and not based on a mistake in my personal life.

i plan to run a campaign based on that legislative record and ask the voters for their forgiveness and for their vote.

I will not be taking phone calls, questions, or interviews at this time.

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  1. I believe an investigation by law enforcement clears Mr. Gauthier of any charges related to child molestation. I noticed that some newspaper articles were assuming that Mr. Gauthier wrote certain ads when there was no proof that he did so. Let me see: Bill Clinton had oral sex in the Oval Office and denied the charges. Wilber Mills, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee some years back crashed his car into a fountain in DC and had a prostitute with him in the car, and on and on and on. Was Mr. Gauthier’s behavior something to brag about? No it wasn’t. However, after Mr. Mills got sober, he bragged about his behavior and said he was in a blackout for 2 weeks in Congress–spending our money. Is this condemnation because he is gay? I think so. Bill Clinton is now an elder statesman and his wife is the head of the Department of State. Wilber Mills didn’t resign. He just joined the recovering lecture circuit. As Mr. Gauthier says, he needs to take care of himself right now. Politics is a dirty busines and filled with self righteous people with short memories when the sex scandals are about heterosexual men.

  2. I believe that law enforcement conducted an investigation that cleared Mr. Gauthier of anthing that could be construed as child molestation. While Mr. Gauthier’s behavior isn’t the best, I invite the reader to take a walk down memory lane and bring your memories along. Let’s go back to Bill Clinton’s White House–the Oval Office. Monica Lewinski was 21 years old. Some said she should have known better. We all know that 21 year olds have reached the height of their adulthood at 21 and all make good decisions. What exactly were Bill Clinton’s consequences? He is now an elder statesman. Then there was Wilbur Mills, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He crashed a car into a fountain in DC. The other passenger was a prostitute. Wilbur Mills had a wife. After he sobered up, he hit the recovery speaking circuit, bragging about the incident and bragging about the two weeks he spent in the House of Representatives in a blackout. Then there is Ted Kennedy and Chappaquidick, JFK and the women brought to the White House by the Secret Service. There’s more, but the reader can supply his/her own memories. So, we are talking about heterosexual exploits versus homosexual exploits. I agree with Mr. Gauthier needs to take care of himself. He certainly can’t depend on his hetersexual colleagues to support him during a difficult time. Apparently the rest stop on Thompson Hill is sacred and the Oval Office isn’t.

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