Jul 19, 2021 - Politics
Rep. John Thompson says he won't step down amid calls for resignation
A headshot of Minnesota Rep. John Thompson.
Rep. John Thompson. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Legislature

State Rep. John Thompson says he won't resign amid a series of controversies, including recently surfaced domestic abuse allegations.

  • The move could force top state leaders to decide whether to seek the St. Paul Democrat's removal from office.

What's new: Top state Democrats, including Gov. Tim Walz and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, issued statements Saturday calling on Thompson to resign following the publication of police reports alleging physical and verbal abuse of a former girlfriend.

  • Thompson, elected in 2020, was already under fire for holding a Wisconsin license while representing a St. Paul district. That issue came up during a traffic stop in which Thompson said he was racially profiled by police.

What's new: Top state Democrats, including Gov. Tim Walz and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, issued statements Saturday calling on Thompson to resign following the publication of multiple police reports alleging physical and verbal abuse of women.

  • Thompson, elected in 2020, was already under fire for holding a Wisconsin license while representing a St. Paul district. That issue came up during a traffic stop in which Thompson said he was racially profiled by police.

What he's saying: Thompson's attorney says the lawmaker and his wife "categorically deny" the allegations.

  • He questioned the authenticity of the police reports, which a Fox9 journalist obtained via public record requests, calling them the "product of the campaign to silence an American African man who speaks out against powerful and abusive interest." The lawmaker was not charged with domestic violence as a result of the cases in question.

What to watch: Thompson's future at the Capitol remains uncertain. Legislative Republicans plan to file an ethics complaint over the allegations today. Under the state Constitution, the House can expel a member with agreement of two-thirds of the chamber.

  • A spokesperson for House DFL leaders declined to comment on whether they will seek such a vote.
  • A Walz aide said Sunday there have been no discussions of bringing back lawmakers prior to a planned September special session on frontline worker pay.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Twin Cities.

More Twin Cities stories

No stories could be found

Twin Citiespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Twin Cities.