BY MARTIGA LOHN, ASSOCIATED PRESS
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A Minnesota Democrat who had a rest-stop sexual encounter with a 17-year-old boy dropped his re-election bid Wednesday, hours after declaring he would stay in the race in defiance of party leaders who wanted him out as they fight to regain control of the state Legislature.
Rep. Kerry Gauthier, 56, told The Associated Press the decision was his own after multiple conversations with Democratic leaders pressing him to withdraw. He said he had been going back and forth about running "every 20 minutes for a week."
"I changed my mind," he said. "Too much. It's just too much."
Gauthier also told the AP that an overdose of muscle relaxants he took last week that led to his hospitalization was a suicide attempt. He'd earlier issued a statement saying he has been in recovery from chemical dependency for 30 years with one relapse.