Minnesota's only openly gay elected Republican in the state legislature will run for reelection as an independent candidate despite Republican voters choosing his opponent in the primary in August.
Paul Koering told the St. Cloud Times that he will launch a write-in campaign after receiving "hundreds and hundreds" of calls and e-mails advising him to do so, challenging GOP candidate Paul Gazelka, Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate Taylor Stevenson, and Constitution Party candidate Steve Park. He registered with the secretary of state last week as a write-in candidate. While he will actively campaign and raise money for the race, his name will not appear on the ballot.
Koering came under fire when it was revealed he had gone on a date with a male porn actor.
After losing the primary, he said he would no longer consider himself a Republican, citing a "purification process" for GOP members who don't agree with the party's platform. He said that if elected, he would caucus with the majority party, the DFL, which has controlled the state senate for more than three decades.