Koering: My Political Career Is Over 

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 11 2010 10:10 PM ET

After losing his state senate seat in the GOP primary Tuesday, Minnesota's Paul Koering says he’s leaving the Republican Party and his political career is over.

"The party that I’ve called home for 14 years has kind of, in essence, went off the cliff,” Koering said. “I always tried to stay with the party to hopefully be a voice of reason within the party. But I found through this campaign that that doesn’t work anymore.”

The Republican Party helped elect former state representative Paul Gazelka. Gazelka defeated Koering with 56.8% to 43.2% of the vote.

The race between Koering and Gazelka was notable for its focus on Koering’s personal life. In June, Koering made headlines for going on a dinner date with 20-year-old gay porn actor Brandon Wilde (left).

Minnesota Republican Party chair Tony Sutton released a statement slamming Koering following the dinner date.

"Instead of focusing his efforts on job creation and the betterment of Senate District 12, Paul Koering has demonstrated incredibly poor judgment by spending time with an escort and pornographic film star," Sutton said. "With his campaign message of lower taxes, sensible government and economic development, Paul Gazelka is the right leader for Senate District 12, and the Republican Party of Minnesota stands united behind his candidacy."

On Wednesday, Koering threw his support behind Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate Taylor Stevenson.











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