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Reality Check: GOP Chair Questions Governor’s Race

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

On Monday, Republicans sent out a fundraising letter questioning whether the election was fair and unbiased. It’s repeating claims made by the party chairman that something doesn’t smell right.

“There have been widespread reports of voter irregularities, especially in Hennepin County”, said the letter asking for donations to defray the legal cost of a possible recount. “We will need your support to help fund our recount efforts to ensure every vote is counted properly!”

Republican Chairman Tony Sutton, the aggressive and outspoken leader of the state party, last week raised serious questions about the fairness and accuracy of the vote count.

Sutton cited counting errors, machine breakdowns and careless record keeping.

“Something doesn’t smell right when you take control of the state house,” he said. “You take control of the state senate. We win in the 8th Congressional District, folks. And yet somehow, somehow we don’t win the governor’s race. Something doesn’t smell right.”

IN FACT…

If that smells funny: well, Minnesota’s had the stench of close elections for years.

In the 2008 U.S. Senate nail biter, now Sen. Al Franken won by just .0108 percent.

The same year President Barack Obama won Minnesota by 10 percent.

In 2006, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty won a second term by just 1 percent of the vote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar swamped Republican Mark Kennedy by 20.2 percent.

The same year

In 2000, Al Gore won Minnesota by 2.4 percent. Mark Dayton won the U.S. Senate race by more than twice that.

You can vote for whoever you want. You don’t have to vote straight Republican or Democrat. And most Minnesotans don’t vote down party lines.

To check the resources for Pat Kessler’s Reality Check, click on the links below.

CNN Election Center 2008: Minnesota
Minnesota 2006 Gubernatorial Election
2006 United States Senate Election in Minnesota
2000 Minnesota General Election
List Of Close Election Results

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