Third Candidate Wants On Duluth Ballot

The Minnesota Supreme Court Friday received a request from the third candidate who wants to replace state Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, asking that his name be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Soon after House District 7B write-in candidate Jay Fosle’s letter seeking a spot on the ballot, Justice Alan Page ordered that Fosle notify others involved in the case about his action and set deadlines for them to respond. The district serves the Duluth area.

Page gave Fosle until Wednesday to provide his petition and any related documents to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, St. Louis County Auditor Don Dicklich, DFL candidate Erik Simonson and Republican candidate Travis Silvers.

The justice gave people who dispute the facts of Fosle’s petition until next Friday to file documents with the court. A decision about whether to consider the case would come after that.

Fosle has been running to replace Gauthier, who dropped out of the race last month.  Fosle decided to request that his name be printed on the ballot after Tuesday’s court ruling that dropped Gauthier from the ballot, replaced by Democratic-endorsed Simonson.

Simonson, like Fosle, had been running as a write-inn candidate before he won the party’s endorsement.

“Petitioner alleges that an injustice will occur if his name is not also on the ballot,” Page wrote about Fosle.

Fosle said the Simonson ruling made the election unfair: “Seeing as the decision was made for one, it should be made for both.”

Few Minnesota write-in candidates have been able to defeat candidates whose names are printed on the ballot.

Silvers’ name has been on the ballot as a Republican all along. Fosle is not backed by a party.

Democrats and Simonson had sought a court order to put Simonson’s name on the ballot after Gauthier admitted to a rest stop sexual liaison with a 17-year-old boy and ended his re-election campaign. The court issued that ruling Tuesday and Dicklich ordered new ballots to be printed with Simonson’s name, at a cost of up to $22,000.

Absentee voters already are casting ballots.