In long ago divorce, DFL legislative candidate found to have 'battered' ex-wife
With control of the House in the balance, a DFL candidate off to a shaky start
Jerald Loud, a DFL legislative candidate in a high profile race, was found to have "battered" his ex-wife in a judge's divorce ruling more than 30 years ago, which also granted a restraining order to the woman.
Loud, a 10 year Navy veteran who runs a program for needy families for the Red Lake Nation, is competing for an open seat currently held by the GOP.
The race in northern Minnesota — pitting Loud against retired Clearwater Sheriff's deputy Matt Grossell — will be one of the most closely watched in the upcoming November elections, as the DFL tries to flip seven seats to take back the House majority they lost in 2014.
The incident highlights how party officials can be unaware of personal problems of candidates, particularly as both parties are trying to find candidates for hundreds of legislative and statewide races.
In 2014, Republicans overwhelmingly endorsed state Supreme Court justice candidate Michelle MacDonald. Republicans later learned she had been arrested a year before for drunken driving and was awaiting trial, prompting GOP officials to ban her from the party's State Fair booth.
"As a general rule, we stay out of endorsing decisions," said Zach Rodvold, a spokesman for the House DFL caucus.
After a trial in January 1984, Judge Terrance Holter ruled that Loud "battered" his wife, who, had "reason to believe that without a restraining order of this Court, such activity might occur again."
Loud's ex-wife, Annette C. Bellino, said in an interview that Loud's abuse sent her to the emergency room several times. She said Loud smashed her through Sheetrock walls and suffocated her until she passed out.
She took her daughter and ran to Texas to hide from Loud, who she said had threatened to kill her.
In a brief interview, Loud said, "I'm a flawed human being just like you are" and declined to discuss the matter further.
He later released a statement: "As a young man, I made mistakes for which I am truly sorry," he said.
"I've never claimed to be perfect, and I'm not proud of every decision I have ever made, but I have learned from those mistakes, and as I have grown into adulthood I have continued to better myself and the community," he said.
The judge's order states that Loud "is hereby restrained from assaulting or touching" Bellino, as well as threatening, intimidating, harassing or vilifying her. He was required to abstain from alcohol use during visits with his daughter.
Bellino said she struggled to get Loud to pay child support.
In 1997, a judge ordered Loud to pay $6,979 in back child support.
Bellino, who said she is now a minister, said she has forgiven Loud.
Loud's statement, in addition to expressing remorse, touts his achievements: Serving a decade in the Navy, volunteering for the Boys and Girls Club Bemidji, teaching and coaching high school students and working for the Red Lake Nation for nearly 10 years.