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Published Friday, November 08, 2013

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GOP's Zellers backs AG in sex offender dispute

The Associated Press - ST. PAUL, Minn.

The fate of a convicted rapist up for release from Minnesota's sex offender treatment program is shaping up as a potential issue in next year's governor's race.

State Rep. Kurt Zellers, a GOP candidate for governor, says he doesn't think the state should free Thomas Duvall.

That position is at odds with Gov. Mark Dayton, who is backing his human services commissioner on a recommended discharge.

Zellers, a former House speaker from Maple Grove, says he thinks Duvall is still dangerous. That puts him in line with Dayton's fellow Democrat, Attorney General Lori Swanson, who is fighting Duvall's release.

Zellers' chief opponents for the GOP nomination didn't immediately respond to requests to share their views.

The state sex offender program faces a legal challenge for indefinitely confining offenders.

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