House Democrats oust embattled lawmaker from caucus

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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ST. PAUL — Minnesota House Democrats voted Tuesday night to expel Rep. John Thompson from their caucus following allegations of domestic violence and questions about his residency.

“Rep. Thompson’s actions, credible reports of abuse and misconduct, and his failure to take responsibility remain unacceptable for a member of the Minnesota House,” House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said in a joint statement.

The expulsion leaves Thompson without access to legislative staff and resources. House leaders also repeated their calls for Thompson to resign from the Legislature.

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Thompson posted a statement on Facebook that gave little indication he would leave the House.

“Have I made some bad decisions in the past?” Thompson wrote, “Yes.”

“Have I been through the storm and back? Yes. Am I a passionate and vocal Black man? Yes,” he wrote.

Top Democrats called for the St. Paul freshman legislator to resign this summer amid news stories about past police reports that alleged Thompson was physically violent with women long before he was elected.

Thompson also has faced questions about driving with a Wisconsin license, following a traffic stop in which he claimed he was racially profiled, and over whether he really lives in his St. Paul district.