Democrat Mark Dayton met privately this afternoon to talk about a possible transition. Dayton is leading Republican Tom Emmer by an unofficial margin of more than 8,700 votes, which is a small enough margin to likely trigger an automatic recount in the governor’s race. Dayton said after his hour long meeting with the governor that Pawlenty was gracious and offered his top revenue and finance staff so Dayton could start crafting a budget if he’s elected governor.
“If I am elected and have a certificate, I expect this to be a very smooth transition as it should be for the benefit of the people of Minnesota.”
Dayton said again he is confident his lead will hold, but he isn’t presuming anything. Emmer and the state Republican Party today hired former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson to handle any litigation involving the recount. Emmer said there is a legal process for counting the votes and he will let it play out before making any decisions about any other steps to take.
For his part, Dayton said it appears Emmer and the MNGOP are preparing for a lengthy court battle. He says he believes the issue should be settled once the statewide, hand recount is complete in December.
“I believe under present circumstances and all known facts that should be the conclusion. And whichever side is on the losing side there has an incumbent responsibility to the people of Minnesota to accept that outcome, to honor that outcome, to not cast undue aspersions on that outcome because this is about Minnesota.”
Dayton also said he intends to disclose all of the funds he raises to fund the recount. Republican Tom Emmer said he and the Republican Party will follow the law. The Campaign Finance Board announced that candidates and political parties don’t have to disclose donations and can accepted unlimited amounts of money from outside groups.