Coleman claims victory

Jake Grovum

Sen. Norm Coleman this morning claimed victory in his race against Democrat Al Franken, despite a looming recount mandated my state law. “The Senator is thrilled and humbled to be given the opportunity to serve the people of Minnesota for another six years. Today is a time for us to come together as a state and a nation. There is much work to be done, and the Senator is ready to roll-up his sleeves and bring people together to get it done,” Coleman Campaign Manager Cullen Sheehan said in a statement this morning. The Franken camp has not yet given up, according to a statement released this morning. “This race is too close to call, and we do not yet know who won,” Franken said in a statement. “There is reason to believe that the recount could change the vote tallies significantly.” By the slimmest of margins, Coleman holds a 725-vote lead over Franken in the U.S. Senate race, with a recount looming in the coming weeks. With all state precincts reporting, Coleman’s lead is a slim .04 percent, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State Website. Coleman finished with an even 42 percent of the vote to Franken’s 41.97 percent. Independence party candidate Dean Barkley garnered more than 15 percent of the vote. State law requires a statewide recount for all elections in which the winning margin is less than one half of one percent. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the recount could begin in mid-November and stretch into December, the Associated Press reports. Polls leading up to Election Day signaled one of the tightest races possible. Both the final Humphrey Institute/ MPR poll and the final Star Tribune Minnesota Poll showed statistical dead heats between Coleman and Franken heading into last weekend. It was the most expensive race in the country, as well – Candidates raised over $34 million combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Follow mndaily.com for more updates. -Devin Henry and Jake Grovum