News that John Remington "Jack" Graham may be dropping out of the race for Minnesota attorney general is premature.
Graham, who is running as a Republican, told The Associated Press he planned to withdraw his candidacy and disband his campaign account.
But reached by phone at his home in St. Agapit, Quebec, Canada, Tuesday Graham said while he thought he was out of the race, he isn't sure anymore after receiving a call from his campaign lawyer.
Graham said his lawyer said his election committee members were rejecting his withdrawal and going to a Tuesday night Republican meeting in St. Paul on his behalf.
"So I really don't know what is going on right now," Graham said. "I thought I was out but I might not be. I just have to wait to see what happens. I really don't know. I never expected anyone was going to object if I withdrew. I thought they'd find somebody and everything would just go on from there but my campaign lawyer called me and said 'you are not withdrawing because we are not accepting your resignation.'"
As for his initial reason in announcing an end to his campaign for the Republican endorsement, Graham cited personal reasons he described as practical problems. He declined to get into particulars at this point.
Graham said he was in good health and the reasons were not related to the distance between establishing a Minnesota residence and his family living in Canada as he'd be able to travel to see them.
"This is not the first time I've tried to avoid public service if I could, but I guess it's not going to be so easy to do," Graham said. The 69-year-old former Crow Wing County attorney said he wanted to resign when he was county attorney because he didn't think he could handle the enormous problems he faced but he was pulled back.
Graham was elected Crow Wing County attorney in 1990. He had been living in Quebec but established a legal residency in Brainerd before the election. He served one term and didn't seek re-election. He was a special counsel to the city of Brainerd from 1974 to 1980 and led the unsuccessful fight against mandatory fluoridation of the city's water. Graham has unsuccessfully sought judgeships on at least two occasions. He said he practices law in Minnesota periodically.
He unsuccessfully sought the Republican endorsement for the attorney general post in 1998. Graham said he has offered to help another Republican candidate run for attorney general using his accumulated knowledge, experience and information.
Christmas will pass without politics, Graham said, and after the holiday a decision is expected.
"I'll do whatever is the right thing to do, we'll just have to let events take their course for a few days anyway and see how people feel."
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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