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Republican state Sen. Koering lost in primary but returns as write-in candidate

He lost in the August primary, but state Sen. Paul Koering says he’ll be back on the ballot.

Koering lost the Republican primary to former state Rep. Paul Gazelka. But Koering — a two-term senator from Fort Ripley who was derided by his opponent for dining with a gay porn star — registered with the state and will campaign as a write-in candidate in the district.

That hardly ever works, but Koering told the St. Cloud Times that an “overwhelming show of support from many friends and acquaintances” urged him to keep trying.

After the primary, Koering had endorsed the DFL candidate Taylor Stevenson, saying he couldn’t support Republican Gazelka, who has Tea Party ties.

The paper says Koering is, obviously, withdrawing his endorsement of DFLer Stevenson:

Koering said in August that he’s no longer a Republican, citing what he called a recent “purification process” for Republicans who don’t adhere to all the party’s positions.

Koering said Sunday that he considers himself independent. When asked which party he would caucus with if re-elected, Koering said there’s “a pretty good chance” he’d caucus with the Senate’s majority party. DFLers have controlled the Minnesota Senate for more than 30 years.

“If this turns out successfully,” Koering said, “I’m going to determine where my caucusing could best help the people that I represent here.”

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