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Sen. Koering Loses Seat in Minn.

Sen. Koering Loses Seat in Minn.

Two-term state Sen. Paul Koering (right), Minnesota's only openly gay Republican senator, lost his seat Tuesday in the GOP primary to 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."

Koering came out swinging, blasting the Republican Party for attempting to dig up dirt on him. Gazelka attempted to distance himself from those tactics. As recently as Monday, Gazelka was panning an anti-Koering mailer being distributed by the National Organization for Marriage.

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