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Republican concedes, sending Franken to US Senate

 FILE - In this April 13, 2009 file photo Al Franken talks with reporters outside his home in Minneapolis.  On Tuesday, June 30,2009, the Minnesota Su...
 FILE - In this June 1, 2009 file photo, former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman addresses the media in St. Paul, Minn. On Tuesday, June 30,2009,  the Minn...
 Former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman pauses for a moment as his daughter Sarah looks on as he addresses the media Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at his St. Pa...

Minnesota Senate

FILE - In this April 13, 2009 file photo Al Franken talks with reporters outside his home in Minneapolis. On Tuesday, June 30,2009, the Minnesota Su...

Minnesota Senate

FILE - In this June 1, 2009 file photo, former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman addresses the media in St. Paul, Minn. On Tuesday, June 30,2009, the Minn...

Minnesota Senate

Former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman pauses for a moment as his daughter Sarah looks on as he addresses the media Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at his St. Pa...

Republican Norm Coleman conceded to Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota's contested Senate race on Tuesday, hours after a unanimous state Supreme Court ruled the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian should be certified the winner.
Coleman announced his decision at a news conference in St. Paul, bringing an end to the a nearly eight-month recount and court fight over an election decided by only a few hundred votes.
"The Supreme Court has made its decision and I will abide by the results," Coleman told reporters outside his St. Paul home.
Coleman, appearing relaxed and upbeat, said he had congratulated Franken, was at peace with the decision and had no regrets about the fight, which started almost immediately after the Nov. 4 election.
"Sure I wanted to win," said Coleman, who called the ruling a surprise. "I thought we had a better case. But the court has spoken."
He declined to talk about his future plans, brushing aside a question about whether he would run for governor in 2010.
With Franken and the usual backing of two independents, Democrats would have a big enough majority to overcome Republican delaying tactics on legislative votes in the U.S. Senate.
But to exercise that strength, they will need to remain as united in support of a bill as Republicans are in opposition, regardless of regional differences, ideology, or political self-interest.
The situation is further complicated by the illness of two senior Democrats who have been absent from the Capitol for weeks. West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd was recently released from a hospital after undergoing treatment for a staph infection, and Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is battling brain cancer. It is not known when, or whether, either will be able to return to the Capitol.
The White House issued a statement Obama looks "forward to working with Senator-Elect Franken to build a new foundation for growth and prosperity by lowering health care costs and investing in the kind of clean energy jobs and industries that will help America lead in the 21st century."
According to Betty K. Koed, the assistant Senate historian, the 60-vote majority marks the first time either political party has reached that level since the late 1970s.
Coleman's appeal hinged largely on an argument that local election officials had inconsistently applied the state's requirements for absentee voters. He and his lawyers had hoped to bring thousands of disqualified absentee votes into the count, but the state's high court sided with a lower court and rejected that argument.
Coleman could have carried his fight into the federal courts, but it was unlikely a federal court would have overturned the state Supreme Court decision.
That possibility created months of intrigue over whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty would sign an election certificate if Coleman continued an appeal _ a possibility that quickly became moot with Coleman's concession.
Pawlenty said he would sign the certificate later Tuesday.
___
Associated Press Special Correspondent David Espo and AP Writer Henry C. Jackson contributed to this report from Washington.


Updated : 2021-05-18 11:36 GMT+08:00