ST PETER — The “genetic predisposition” comment has stuck to Allen Quist like the world’s most relentless leech through two campaigns for governor and pair of attempts, including this year’s, for a seat in Congress.
The story about Quist conducting an undercover investigation into gay sex allegedly occurring at a Mankato adult bookstore has been with him even longer.
His 1988 statement that Minnesota State University’s acceptance of a gay/lesbian center in its student union was equivalent to allowing a Ku Klux Klan office there ... . That one hasn’t been as persistent, but it’s made an appearance this year.
The retired farmer from rural St. Peter has been attempting to quash efforts to resurrect the controversial remarks and actions, telling people reports of his actions were “a total fabrication” and that his comments were taken out of context.
State Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca — Quist’s opponent in the upcoming Republican primary election — decided to highlight Quist’s history this week, turning an already contentious race even more negative.
“I think it’s time for him to man up and face the music,” Parry said.
The Free Press dug through newspaper archives and old files from Quist’s previous runs for office to provide some of the context Quist said is missing from present-day accounts of his legislative and campaign history.
Parry was also quizzed about some questionable comments of his own, which some viewed as racist and homophobic. (See accompanying story).
The winner of the Parry-Quist Republican primary election on Aug. 14 will advance to the Nov. 6 general election against Democratic Congressman Tim Walz of Mankato. But it seems increasingly likely that the winner will be at least somewhat bloodied going into the fall.
Quist has about five times as much money to spend in the final 19 days of the primary campaign. But Parry said it’s not desperation that’s prompting him to shine a spotlight on his opponent’s actions during six years in the state House and his controversial comments — leading up to his 1994 attempt to topple Gov. Arne Carlson, a fellow Republican — about whether men have an innate propensity to be the ultimate decision-maker in families.