Report: Emmer to concede Minn. gov. race

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Delano) will concede the Minnesota gubernatorial race to DFL candidate Mark Dayton Wednesday morning, KSTP-TV’s chief political reporter Tom Hauser announced on Twitter at 9:54 p.m. Tuesday night.

The state Supreme Court’s 18-page ruling on Emmer’s argument that Minnesota counties did not all correctly follow reconciliation procedures from earlier Tuesday dismantled the basis of a potential election contest lawsuit.

The State Canvassing Board had been nearing completion of a statewide hand recount of more than 2.1 million ballots, which began on Nov. 23. State election law mandates a manual recount when the margin separating the top two candidates is less than one-half of a percent.

The day after election night Dayton led Emmer by approximately 8,850 votes. During the recount process, which at one point saw more than 2,000 “frivolous” ballot challenges, that lead increased to nearly 9,000 votes.

One day before the recount was set to start, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments from both campaigns on an issue raised by Emmer. His lawyers argued that not all Minnesota counties had properly followed a process called reconciliation.

The high court disagreed, denying Emmer’s petition 90 minutes later that day in a terse order. The court promised the full ruling as soon as possible, but noted the urgency of the matter.

When Dayton is sworn in on Jan. 4, he will be the first DFL-backed governor elected since 1986.