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Gay Minnesota lawmaker exits politics

Openly gay Minnesota state Sen. Paul Koering, R-Brainerd, said he’s leaving the Republican Party and his political career after being defeated in a primary race by a right-wing candidate. Koering lost the primary to state Rep. Paul Gazelka, who had the party’s endorsement. The race received extensive media attention after Koering acknowledged taking a male porn star out to dinner.

Koering complained that Minnesota’s Republican Party was engaged in dirty campaigning when it filed requests with area law enforcement for any records authorities had on him. He told the Brainerd Dispatch that he wouldn’t support Gazelka.

“The (Republican) party has taken a hard turn to the right,” he said. “That’s not where most people are.”

Gingrich wants to remove Iowa judges

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he wants to help remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined a unanimous ruling that legalized gay marriage in the state.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Gingrich accused the justices of “substituting their values for the values of Iowa voters,” when they overturned a law banning same-sex marriage.

Gingrich says last year’s decision was one in a series of cases in which judges exercised “dictatorial” power. He says he’d like to help form a group to remove the Iowa justices when they come up for retention votes in the November general election.

Gingrich, who was in Des Moines to attend the Iowa State Fair, has been married three times. His first two marriages ended in divorce after he had affairs with younger women while his wives were seriously ill.

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