ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Duluth firefighter Erik Simonson has started a bid as a write-in Democratic candidate for the seat held by a Minnesota lawmaker involved in a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop.

Simonson launched his campaign Tuesday at the Duluth Zoo as party officials waited for Rep. Kerry Gauthier to make an announcement.

Gauthier has yet to comment on the scandal or his political plans, though Democratic leaders are urging him to withdraw from the race.

The first-term Duluth legislator didn't return a voice mail message on Tuesday.

Simonson tells AP he informed Gauthier of his plan to run for the seat but Gauthier gave no indication of his own plans.

Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle has also filed papework to run as a write-in candidate.