Gauthier’s decision came after multiple conversations with Democratic leaders pressing him to withdraw. Democrats need to gain at least six House seats to take control of the chamber and couldn’t risk the possibility of losing a “safe seat.”
Police say Gauthier admitted having oral sex with the unnamed boy on July 22 after he advertised on Craigslist for “no strings attached” sex. The police declined to charge him because the boy was older than 16, the legal age of consent, and no money was exchanged.
Gauthier apologized for the incident in a statement posted online by the Duluth News Tribune.
“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,” he said.
Gauthier said he is getting counseling. He said he also feels badly for the teen and wouldn’t talk specifically about the incident to protect the boy.
“I can change my behavior, but I cannot change the fact that I am a gay man, and have known this since my college days. I simply must act like a mature gay man would act, and not as the incident portrays me,” said Gauthier.