Eric Harpel says scandalous lawsuit isn't meant to destroy Rep. Mary Franson's political career
Franson could lose her party's endorsement for her House seat this weekend.
On Saturday, House District 8B Republicans will gather in Henning and decide whether to endorse Rep. Mary Franson for a third term in office.
Franson, who defeated her Democratic opponent in 2012 by the slimmest of margins, faces a stiff challenge from fellow Republican Sue Nelson. Her cause certainly wasn't helped by a scandalous civil lawsuit filed against her on Tuesday by her ex-boyfriend, McLeod County MNGOP Chair Eric Harpel.
Here's one particularly explosive passage taken directly from the lawsuit:
The timing of the lawsuit is unfortunate for Franson in light of this weekend's crucial convention, but Harpel says it's merely a coincidence.
"Ms. Franson had pledged to work together outside of the courtroom some 639 days ago when she dismissed the harassment restraining order," he tells us in an email. "She has chosen not too. Ms. Franson was served with this lawsuit on December 7th, 2013 some 129 days ago. Even after she was served, we reached many times in good faith to settle this. Again, she has chosen not too. Therefore.....she knew this was coming."
"We were under a time constraint to get this filed," Harpel continues. "I wanted to exhaust every available opportunity to settle this privately. Again and again, she has chosen not too! [sic] I can't help it that the District 08 Republicans [scheduled] their convention when they did."
Ultimately, Harpel says that "if Mary Franson fails at anything, it's because of Mary Franson, and Mary Franson only."
Nelson, meanwhile, hasn't acknowledged this week's controversy on her Facebook page and is instead citing Franson's narrow 2012 victory as her reason for challenging her.
"I see this seat as being in jeopardy," Nelson writes in a post published this morning. "It remained in the Republican column by only the narrowest of margins in the last election. The constantly diminishing election results are simply too close for many conservatives to bear."
To read the entirety of Harpel's lawsuit, click to page two.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.