The woman whose accusations of adultery brought down Independent-Republican gubernatorial candidate Jon Grunseth came forward because he labeled as liars women who said he swam nude with teenage girls.
Grunseth withdrew from the race Sunday, nine days before the election, after a newspaper reported allegations by a woman who said she and the candidate had a nine-year illicit affair ending last year.The conservative Grunseth had been running against the incumbent, Democrat Rudy Perpich, and Arne Carlson, the state auditor who mounted a write-in campaign after losing to Grunseth in the Independent-Republican primary.
The charges by the woman, Tamara Taylor, came days after allegations by two other women that the candidate swam nude with teenage girls during a 1981 pool party at his home had almost led Gunseth to drop out of the race.
One of the women, who was 13 at the time, accused Grunseth of trying to pull down her bathing suit strap and touch her breast. Grunseth has denied all charges of sexual impropriety and said he took a polygraph test that exonerated him.
Taylor, quoted in a copyright story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, said she believes the women's account. She said Grunseth called her shortly after his 1981 party, which she attended, and joked that she shouldn't have left early because there had been nude swimming at the end.
Taylor said she waited until now to come forward because, "I was Jon's friend. I had no motivation to hurt him or harm him professionally or hurt his marriage. . . .
"I had no motivation to do that. And I still don't have motivation to do that," Taylor said. "I just feel that, because of the things that I know, I believe what (the two women) are saying and I think they're being damaged, and I think that's wrong."
In announcing his withdrawal at his Afton home, Grunseth said he was a "political pragmatist." He did not mention Taylor, citing only his concerns for his family, his party and the people of the state.
Grunseth thanked his supporters and contributors. "I'm sorry if I let them down in any way," he said. "I am not a perfect person. I made some mistakes. I feel sorry about that."