Minnesota finally has a governor-elect, as Republican Tom Emmer has conceded the race to Democrat Mark Dayton at a news conference earlier this morning.
Standing in the bitter cold, outside his home, Republican candidate Tom Emmer conceded the race to be the next governor of Minnesota, making the way for Democrat Mark Dayton to take the state’s top spot.
“I do not believe the delay in seating the next governor will unite us or move us forward,” Emmer told the media. “Mark Dayton needs to get started on the business of governoring this state.”
The hand recount which concluded earlier this week still left Emmer 9000 votes behind Dayton, a number that was impossible for the Republican to overcome mathematically. Although court challenges had been floated as an option earlier by the state GOP, Emmer chose today to take the more magnanimous route and allow the race results to be certified in time for Dayton to be sworn in.
Dayton will be the first Democratic governor the state has seen in over two decades, and will face a legislature adamantly opposed to him. Both the Minnesota House and Senate are now in Republican control, and much discussion has been held over whether any legislation will pass in the next two years, or whether it will be complete gridlock. It could be that the Gov-elect’s main role will be that of veto pen, a prospect that the state GOP has already brainstormed avoiding via proposing constitutional amendments, which do not require governor approval.
The chair of the Democratic Governor’s Association released the following statement on Dayton’s victory:
“Governor-Elect Mark Dayton will become the first Democrat in two decades to win the Minnesota governorship, and his victory is all the more impressive when you consider that he won in a tough climate. Mark won because he focused on rebuilding the state’s stalled economy and putting people back to work. He has spent his public career dedicated to making Minnesota a better place to live, and we’re confident that he’ll succeed in the next four years. During the recount, he conducted himself with the wisdom, grace and patience that Minnesotans deserve in their next governor. We congratulate him on his win and look forward to working with him to move the nation and state forward in tough times.”
You can watch Emmer’s concession speech here, via The Uptake.