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Minnesota Government Update


December 31, 2008


2010 Gubernatorial Update
State Senator John Marty (DFL-Roseville) may join a growing list of DFL candidates seeking the Governor's office in 2010. Marty announced Monday that he will begin fundraising for an exploratory campaign. Marty was the DFL-endorsed candidate in 1994, and lost to Republican Governor Arne Carlson. Marty ran again in 1998, dropping out before the DFL primary. Senator Marty heads the Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee in the State Senate.

Four other Democratic candidates have filed paperwork to run for governor in 2010: Senator Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), Representative Paul Thiessen (DFL-Minneapolis), Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, and Ole Savior, a frequent candidate. Other possible candidates include former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Minneapolis), Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza (DFL-St. Paul) and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tarryl Clark (DFL-St. Cloud). Governor Tim Pawlenty has not yet announced whether he is seeking reelection in 2010.

U.S. Senate Recount Update
The Franken and Coleman Campaigns spent the past weekend examining approximately 1,350 improperly rejected absentee ballots and preparing their arguments about which ballots should be included in the official vote count. The campaigns should follow state laws on the validity of the absentee ballots indicating a ballot is valid if the voter was properly registered, did not vote a second time in person, and if the voter's name, address, and signature on the return envelope correspond with the information the voter provided on the absentee ballot application.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled last week that the campaigns were to identify those apparently mistakenly rejected absentee ballots and to send them unopened to the Secretary of State by January 2nd. The Secretary has until the 4th of January to send them to the Canvassing Board to be included in the vote totals. The Supreme Court ruled that there must be unanimous agreement among the campaigns and the local election officials on which ballots will be accepted.

The Franken and Coleman campaigns will meet in order to decide what absentee ballots will be included at twelve regional meetings scheduled throughout the state on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Franken holds a narrow lead of 49 votes in the unofficial vote count. The absentee ballots could very well be the tipping point for either candidate in such a close race.

For up-to-date information about the Minnesota Legislature, tune into Almanac: At the Capitol. This lively and informative program is aired Wednesdays during the legislative session on Twin Cities Public Television at 7:00 PM on Channel 17 and at 10:00 PM on Channel 2.

Almanac: At the Capitol is seen on all public television stations throughout Minnesota and in Fargo. Winthrop & Weinstine is the exclusive law-firm partner and a sponsor of the program.

For more information and to see previous broadcasts, check out the Almanac: At the Capitol Web site at http://tpt.org/aatc/

 
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