Minnesota Recount is Last Governor’s Race Standing

The Connecticut governor’s race has finally been settled, with the final votes being just outside the margin needed for a mandatory recount.  But while Democrat Dan Malloy now gets to take his place as governor-elect of the state, Democrat Mark Dayton of Minnesota is still in limbo, and he may be there a while.

Unlike Connecticut, it is unlikely that the canvassing process will put the margin outside of the automatic recount, even though the difference in votes between the two candidates is likely to remain above 8000.  Republican Tom Emmer does have the right to wave a hand recount, which would save the state thousands of dollars, but has made it clear that he has no intention to do so.

Republican Tom Emmer plans to see a recount through despite trailing Democrat Mark Dayton by almost 8,750 votes in the undeclared race for Minnesota governor, Emmer’s attorney said Monday.

Asked whether any thought was being given to waiving the manual ballot-by-ballot review, Emmer attorney Tony Trimble answered bluntly, “None whatsoever.”

Trimble spoke to reporters after Hennepin County _ Minnesota’s largest _ certified its vote totals. Emmer picked up six votes from his election night tally after a suburban precinct rechecked its numbers. The county makes up one-fifth of the statewide vote.

Tom Emmer’s recount team has been acquiring some high powered legal representation as it progresses, most notably Eric Magnuson, who was the Chief Justice when the 2008 Franken/Coleman recount took place.

From Minnpost:

Said Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton in a statement:

“I’m very pleased to announce that former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson will serve as lead litigator for Emmer for Governor and the Republican Party of Minnesota. Eric is an enormously talented litigator who is independent minded, thoughtful and substantive. As a former member of the State Canvassing Board, Eric understands the issues at stake during this process. Eric is a tremendous addition to our legal team, and I know he will do his part to make certain that every legally cast vote is counted.”

The media itself is already weighing in on the fact that there is no reason with so large of a number of ballots separating the two candidates, that a recount should drag on for months like it did in 2008.  WCCO reporter Esme Murphy states:

Will there be glitches? Yes, almost certainly. But there is strong reason to believe that the reforms enacted by the legislature should make the process faster, and yes, fairer.

Then there is the issue of the margin. While the numbers are moving slightly, Mark Dayton has a significant lead of approximately 8,781 votes. That is obviously far greater than the shifting lead that occurred in 2008 of several hundred. And back to those absentees. In 2008 there were more than 12,000 absentees ballots rejected. This year there are only 3,000. If all 3,000 of those votes went to Tom Emmer, Mark Dayton would still be ahead.

Then there is the suggestion advanced by GOP Chair Tony Sutton that the GOP is not going to let another race be “stolen” the way the 2008 Senate seat was. Is Sutton forgetting that at every step of the way Republicans or their appointees were major players in deciding which ballots should be counted? From the recount, to the Canvassing Board, to the three-judge panel, to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Republicans were there. The decisions by the three-judge panel and the Supreme Court were unanimous.

Tom Emmer deserves a recount. The people of Minnesota deserve a recount. But right now there is no compelling evidence to suggest this process should go one day beyond the Dec. 14 end point for the recount set by the Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, it becomes less and less clear what the Republican party’s intentions are should current governor Tim Pawlenty still be in office when the next session begins. 

Via the Associated Press:

Incoming state House Speaker Kurt Zellers says new Republican majorities in the Legislature won’t “rush to ram something right through” if the governor’s race is unresolved and Gov. Tim Pawlenty stays in office into the new year.

Zellers, of Maple Grove, says it would be “disrespectful to either candidate and the people of Minnesota to somehow try to game the system or manipulate the recount.” But he adds lawmakers are also obligated to work with whoever is governor and get started so a new budget is passed by the constitutionally required date of May 23.

Getting “started” so a budget will pass could mean a whole lot of things to a party that has complete control over the legislature.

wikimedia commons


Joan E.
Joan E5 years ago

Sore losers had to have another expensive recount because they couldn't stand the thought they lost. Had to make it difficult for Al Franken and Mark Dayton to step into the jobs for which the public elected them. The Minnesota Republicans remind me of the creepy scientist responsible for those anthrax attacks in Washington D.C. There's a new book about him that tells how it rankled him so much when women turned him down for dates that for decades afterward, he would make those women suffer. Sure seems like the women who wanted nothing to do with him were right.

Marianne C.
Marianne C7 years ago

"Republican" is a fairly loose description for Tom Emmer. I'd describe him as a right-wing tool and an extremist. Why would anybody WANT a governor who's against human rights?

Emmer lost the vote. I doubt there's any way he can get almost 9,000 votes thrown out so he can be appointed the winner, but stranger things have happened.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago


Tori W.
Past Member 7 years ago

please deliver us from the selfish, thoughtless, self-involved and greedy politicians...when you lose, you lose...if it were closer, then yes, do the manual recount. or if you must still do the recount, how about if the election LOSER pays for all the costs? why should the people have to pay? these politicians have spent millions and millions to get elected. so, to challenge and recount elections with enough of a margin that does not automatically trigger the manual recount, then the loser should pay for the privilege. i think the politicians free ride on the gravy train at the expense of the voters needs to end. they have taken such advantage of every opportunity to lie, cheat and steal, and clearly have a disdain for the voters. to every politician, i say "get out and get a real job! stop stealing and wasting our money to line your pockets!"

Sue T.
Susan T7 years ago

@ Rob and Jay B Wow! Do you live in MN?

I do. This is not 1980 anymore. And I bet you are boycotting Target too.

@ donald baumgartner ~ I totally agree. I voted for Emmer and I believe he is a good guy. I also believe he lost. Be a good sport and say enough is enough.

But I also believe if the margin between the 2 candidates is close enough state law mandates a recount. So there ya go.

Oh and BTW I voted for my Democrat rep !

Sue T.
Susan T7 years ago

November 11, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — Republican Tom Emmer says he will not support prolonging a gubernatorial recount just for the sake of keeping fellow Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty in office.

Mary L.
Mary L7 years ago

As a Minnesotan, I assure you that no budget will be passed by our legislature before the next Governor is sworn in. What IS at stake is the early entry into the Medicaid provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act. Gov. Pawlenty has rejected it, but the next governor has until Jan. 15 to apply for it. It amounts to 1.4 billion that we sure could use. The Repubs hope to scrap the plan by not buying in at the state level. Like: "Cut off your nose to spite your face!"

David M.
David M.7 years ago


Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

What has happened to the state of Minnesota? It used to be known as a fairly moderate state and now they've got some of the ugliest most bigoted and ignorant politicians in the land. How could 50% of the electorate in MN be that backward as to vote for this nut? Emmer is associated with a right wing group that wants the death penalty for LGBT people and has praised Iran for being more 'moral' than the US since they have killed thousands of gays. Oh, they are devout Kristians too! (How could anyone tell if they didn't tell us? That's sure some "Love thy neighbor" kind of attitude). Their rep Bachman is similar in her Hatriot Old Testament judgmental Kristianity. Where are all of these ignorant, ill-informed (and proud of it), superstitious, hate-filled religionists coming from? And how could anyone with a modicum of education in this day and age even consider voting for people of this ilk (let alone being one)? The US is collapsing faster than anyone even predicted. No democracy & free country could possibly survive or exist under these western Taliban rulers. The Repub party is so extremely far right today it makes Nixon Repubs look like bleeding heart liberals. Why don't these people just move to Iran or Saudi Arabia where they can have the kind of rigid, intolerant, Puritanical theocracy they dream of? It already exists - GO THERE!

Ronald Ellsworth
Ronald E7 years ago

Oops! Sorry, meant "Reprehinican"