Wednesday, 08 December 2010

Democrat Mark Dayton Elected Minnesota's Governor

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It appears as though Minnesota’s new governor will be Democrat Mark Dayton, and it only took a little bit more than a month to come to that conclusion. On Wednesday, Republican Tom Emmer finally conceded the Minnesota governor’s race to the Democrat, who held a 9,000 vote election night lead.Fox News explains, “He could have sued over the election outcome but decided against it after a key state Supreme Court decision went against him. He cited the court’s opinion in his concession, but also alluded to major issues facing the state.”

Emmer told reporters following his concession, “Minnesotans made their choice, by however thin a margin, and we respect that choice.”

According to Fox News, “Some Democrats had feared Emmer would pursue a lawsuit simply to keep Dayton out of office for weeks or months. That would have put GOP Governor Tim Pawlenty’s tenure into overtime just as GOP majorities are taking over at the Capitol.”

“I do not believe a delay in the seating of the next governor will unite us or help us move the state forward,” Emmer remarked.

It appears that a legal challenge would not have ended well for Emmer anyway.

Immediately following Emmer’s concession, the state canvassing board voted to certify the original election night results. The board is expected to sign the certificate declaring Dayton as the winner later today.

While some members of the board argued over technicalities, lawyers for both Emmer and Dayton encouraged the board to move forward and resolve the issue.

Dayton’s attorney, Marc Elias, said, “The people of Minnesota have waited a long time for this process to come to some conclusion.”

Even Emmer’s attorney had to admit, “This has been a long and hard-fought battle. Now it’s time to get this over … and move forward.”

The Star Tribune writes, “The board’s work toward recounting the hotly-contested governor’s race, which had taken center stage for most of the past month, was largely made irrelevant when Emmer announced Wednesday morning that he was conceding.”

Dayton now finds himself in a position of power once again after he quit the United States Senate four years ago, having served just a single term. When he announced that he would not be seeking a second term as Senator, he explained that he would prefer to clear the way for a Democrat who stood a better chance of winning. It looked as though his political career was over until he turned his attention to the gubernatorial bid in 2009.

The gubernatorial run was a difficult one for Dayton, who had just barely cleared Minnesota’s Democratic primary after spending millions of his own dollars.

Dayton is touted as an unapologetic Democrat who stands proudly by his calls for an income tax increase. He will be the first Democratic governor to serve the state of Minnesota in 20 years.

With such late notice of his victory, however, Dayton has little time to transition into office on January 3 and contend with a $6 billion budget deficit.

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