MNGOP Secretary of State candidate Dennis Nguyen admits going to strip clubs

Dennisnguyen.jpg
Dennis Nguyen photo via Facebook
In recent weeks, three different well-connected Minnesota Republicans have gotten in touch to pass along the same tip. (They asked their names be kept off the record.)

:::: UPDATE :::: Dennis Nguyen pulls out of Secretary of State race

The tipsters told us this: MNGOP secretary of state candidate Dennis Nguyen frequents strip clubs.

Now there's nothing illegal about going to strip clubs, of course. But the Republicans who got in touch with us expressed concern Nguyen's taste for such establishments is symptomatic of a lifestyle that could become politically problematic if he emerges as the MNGOP candidate to succeed DFLer Mark Ritchie, who announced last year he won't seek a third term as secretary of state.

Nguyen, once divorced, is now single. He has four kids, one born out of wedlock. More than one Republican tipster told us he's known for routinely bringing different dates to public events.

We reached out to Nguyen to get his response to the rumors. He routed our inquiries to his campaign manager, Sen. Brendan Petersen, R-Andover.

During a conversation yesterday, Petersen didn't deny that Nguyen has been to a strip club in the past, but argued it's no big deal and certainly not relevant to whether Nguyen or the two declared DFL candidates -- Steve Simon and Deb Hilstrom -- will make the best secretary of state.

"If the story is that Dennis has been to a strip club, then yeah, he's been to a strip club, but he doesn't frequent them and it's not something he does all the time," Petersen told us. "Just like tens of millions of other people."

"He's a single guy, not married," Petersen continued, adding that Nguyen is also pro-marriage equality and pro-choice (UPDATE -- Petersen got in touch Friday morning to say he misspoke in characterizing Nguyen as pro-choice. "He's very pro-life," Petersen said, adding he was in the midst of a busy day when we talked to him.) "We don't think it's a news story, but if we're going to get into the personal lives of the candidates, then it's fair to ask the same questions of Steve Simon and Deb Hilstrom -- have they been to strip clubs?"

Petersen pointed out that during 17 successful years working in the private equity field, Nguyen has never been sued. The implication is that because Republicans who are uncomfortable with Nguyen's politically non-traditional personal life can't go after him for legitimate reasons, they've chosen to spread rumors instead.

(For more, click to page two.)


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34 comments
ajlalk3
ajlalk3 topcommenter

Politics as usual. The Us vs Them mentality that both sides of the aisle possess is getting more out of control by the day, and it's ruining this country.

Colleen Ferguson
Colleen Ferguson

As a Libiterian woman I say one thing - get over it and you better have tipped the ladies well. Who cares?

Adam Epps
Adam Epps

I think they should be much more worried about their Michelle Bachman

Jeremy Dowd
Jeremy Dowd

Problematic that he is being honest?

Ryan Schoen
Ryan Schoen

As a republican myself, I could care less, as long as it's on his own dollar.

webcelt
webcelt

I don't care what he does in private, but I'm not a Republican. Whether Republicans care is all that matters. If they nominate him, then what are his qualifications for the job? He seems not to have any.

Tyler Chip Moody Suter
Tyler Chip Moody Suter

It's still worthless static. Show me a human being and I will show you a hypocrite. An independent media whose mission is to inform the people should focus on policy and ignore personal matters. Unfortunately the dollar is king, and all that matters, so papers kowtow to the message benign fed to them about twitter penis pics and family value candidates going to strip clubs, because it sells, all the while cutting investigative journalism budgets, which is the only kind of journalism that should matter.

Paige Turner
Paige Turner

Republicans trumpet "family values" and have made this phrase one of the anchors of their party. When one of their party members behaves in way that is the opposite of these "family values", it becomes news because it is hypocritical behavior.

Bob B Bopp
Bob B Bopp

I don't know...seems like the perfect family values republican to me. Divorced, kid out of wedlock, sex problem. Probably wipes his ass with pages from the bible too. Perfect republican in every way.

Jared Bergman
Jared Bergman

Bigger story he is from the financial sector. Suprise

Chad DiDonato
Chad DiDonato

I found it shocking there is a Republican who is pro choice and pro marriage equality! I'm surprised that's not a bigger story considering the Bible thumpers that have been running the Republican Party lately.

Tyler Chip Moody Suter
Tyler Chip Moody Suter

Can we stop dwelling on the personal matters and start focusing on policy voting records? He can go get lap dance for lunch, every day, for all I care, if he is actually expressing his constituents in policy making. When I hear about a public officials personal issues, I take that as an attempt to distract me from valid concerns. The person yelling at this guy for going to strip clubs is probably voting like crazy for the interests of his lobbyist buddies, but doesn't want us looking at that.

Jonathan David
Jonathan David

We need a Secretary of State who is a dedicated pole-watcher and gets to the bottom of the matter.

Christopher James
Christopher James

Oh no he had some watered down drinks and saw some boobs.....what is this work coming to...

Grant Grim Murray
Grant Grim Murray

I think more important things are happening in the world.lol

Todd Ray
Todd Ray

I know that. The fact that the ones who thump as you will the most, have the most to hide from their own personal behavior. Not all, just the ones who speak up/out the most.

Noel Barrick
Noel Barrick

Not all republicans are "bible-thumpers." Very few people fit neatly into the stereotypes of their respective groups.

Jim Hall
Jim Hall

This is stuff the media likes to report.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Cool guy. Good endorsement from CP too

Marc Petersen
Marc Petersen

Attending a strip club is legal. What's the problem?

Todd Ray
Todd Ray

Personally, don't care. But the hypocrisy is blinding.

ElliotPark
ElliotPark

City Pages makes a tidy profit promoting strip clubs, no?

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

The job is to oversee voters at the polls, not dancers on the poles.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

This is a Republican I can get on board with.   Practical and honest,  I need to do a little more research.

ajlalk3
ajlalk3 topcommenter

*Couldn't care less.

ajlalk3
ajlalk3 topcommenter

@ElliotPark  Not really, no. Depends on your definition of the word "tidy". No individual club was mentioned in this article either.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@WhiteMatt @Drewey  in any case, it's at least cool that the guy is a real person and can be related to. Uptight fascist zealots on both sides of the aisle are real passe

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