By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

DELANO, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Standing in the bitter cold, outside his home, Republican candidate Tom Emmer conceded the race to be the next governor of Minnesota, making the way for Democrat Mark Dayton to take the state’s top spot.

“I do not believe the delay in seating the next governor will unite us or move us forward,” Emmer said. “Mark Dayton needs to get started on the business of governing this state.”

Raw Audio From Tom Emmer News Conference

A statewide recount made little difference in the Democrat’s election night lead of nearly 9,000 votes.

Emmer’s concession vaults Dayton back into power just four years after he quit the U.S. Senate after a single term. It also gives Democrats the governor’s office, a prize they haven’t won in 20 years.

Dayton has to move ahead quickly with his transition. He’s due to take office Jan. 3 and the state has a budget deficit of more than $6 billion.

Some Democrats had feared Emmer would pursue a lawsuit simply to keep Dayton out of office for weeks or months. That would have put GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s tenure into overtime just as GOP majorities are taking over at the Capitol.

But even some Republicans said they hadn’t seen anything that would have supported a successful legal challenge by Emmer.

Emmer said he did not believe that kind of lawsuit would be in the best interest for the people of Minnesota.

“I do not believe a delay in seating the next governor will unite us or move our state forward,” he said.

Emmer, 49, is a three-term state legislator whose reputation as a Capitol firebrand made it a surprise for some when he beat out a more experienced lawmaker to become the GOP nominee in the spring.

During his press conference Wednesday, Emmer referred repeatedly to his pride in his campaign.

“We came within 8,700 votes of accomplishing something that not a lot of people thought we could do and we did it the right way,” he said.

As for what he will do in the future, Emmer joked that he might sign on with a left-leaning news site.

“I hear the UpTake might have an opening,” he said, with a deep laugh.

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton and Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb issued the below statement about Emmer’s concession:

“Tom Emmer and Annette Meeks have served Minnesotans with great distinction for many years. As conservative champions of lower taxes, reform, and smaller, sensible government, Tom and Annette waged a principled and optimistic campaign that Minnesotans can be proud of. While Tom may be conceding the governor’s race, his ideas that government must live within its means won the day as he led the ticket that took control of the state house and the state senate for the Republican Party. His message of smaller, sensible government will be what guides the legislature and is the political reality that the incoming governor will have to recognize. On behalf of the Republican Party of Minnesota, we wish Tom, Annette and their wonderful families all the best in their future endeavors.”

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy Reports

Comments (38)
  1. john says:

    just great now we will be stuck with that wackjob dayton

  2. LaurieA says:

    well Tom, you did the right thing but sadly you also alienated many of us who supported you and the party with the CS of it all.
    Maybe we need to blame the party primarily as they pushed this thing along for waaaaaaaaaaaaaay to long.

  3. Kyle T says:

    john my boy — you had a whack jobeither way that we’d have been stuck with.
    Hope ya’ll start to smell the coffee and look to the alternatives in the middle as both parties have gone to frgn he!!

  4. John F says:

    Emmer you should’ve fought to the end. All the way to the real supreme court. If minnesota can’t reconcile votes and voters then we had no vote. I wasted my time and have been disenfranchised. This sucks. I’m getting tired of the democrat party and supporters taking my rights away with illegal votes. RECONCILE AND THEN CONVICT

    1. Nicole says:

      I’m tired of everyone being a bunch of whiners. How is the democratic party taking your rights away with illegal votes. Where are all these illegal votes? If the democrats were winning with illegal votes don’t you think they would have won more battles across the state, and won the governor’s office by more than 9000 votes? Your boy lost now deal with it and quit acting like there is some conspiracy behind it.

    2. Pipemajor says:

      John F – “Illegal votes????” I tire of the endless accusations you and your country club political party spew but, when presented with an opportunity to prove your case…

      If you’d like to improve the system, I suggest you volunteer your time and work a full day working at one of the precincts (as I do).

      Once you’re willing to “walk the walk”, then perhaps you can talk. Until then…

    3. Ignorance must be bliss says:

      OMG I can’t stand all this BS that people are talking about Dems stealing votes. If you idiot GOPs don’t stop complaining about EVERYTHING maybe something could get done on cap hill. As to the stealing votes comment, did we forget how Bush got into office? So Dems are the only 1s stealing votes huh?

  5. Jake says:

    This was a classy move by Emmer. While he could have bowed out sooner, it seems appropriate that he let the process work, reviewed the results, and accepted them as being as valid as the system will allow. We should expect the same of any candidate of any party. Congratulations and best wishes to Governor-elect Dayton and private citizen Emmer.

  6. lizagirl says:

    The first thing that disenfranchised me with this man was his some of his workers at a booth approaching people literally saying “Don’t be a commie. Vote for Emmer”. My husband & I were appalled and disgusted that politics has gone to such a low. We grew up in the Cold War era where this was a reality, and being called a “commie” was truly an insult.

  7. Al T says:

    Unlikely a reconciliation, even if it found a discrepancy in the number of votes cast and the number who signed in at the poles, would produce a different result. The reason is the current law states that the excess votes to be rejected are to be selected at “random” from the pool of all votes cast. Statistically probabilities then make it clear the outcome would most likely be unchanged.

  8. Greg J says:

    John F, what color is the sky in your world? Just curious.

  9. Helper says:

    Yeah Emmer you should have fought to the end!

    …and keep whining how the democrats cheated and stole this election from you with felon voters and miscounted votes…

    Not that people didn’t figure out for themselves the shallow fraud you are…

  10. PJ says:

    Emmer did the right thing. Those of you who think there is a major problem with Minnesota’s voting system, please take a few moments acquaint yourself with the facts and stop with the stupid rhetoric already. The system is good… actually quite good.

  11. Joe says:

    Let the Benny Hill theme begin! At least Dayton will not be able to implement his social welfare and tax hike policies. Nobody at the fair said don’t be a comie I was there everyday nothing like that was ever said lizagirl. Nice Try. Oh well let the hilarity ensue. Any takers he closes down his office in six months?

  12. Joe says:

    Well the truth hurts helper and shallow fraud, really? What did Dayton do in the senate besides close down his office? Nothing would be the correct answer. Tell me something by your tone Im guessing you voted for Franken, do you vote for candidates based on name recognition? Just curious? I think the real fraud is people like those two mentioned.

    1. Joe Y says:

      Joe — change your name huh. Hate sharing it with a moron. And BTW – I’m a GOP’er normally. Just fyi …. you not very informed yourself either so mayb eshut the flapper. 😉

  13. voter says:

    Should have done this much earlier. He clearly damaged his reputation over this and this is quite possibly the last of we hear from him. He quit since there were no other avenue for him to drag this further, not because he cares about Minnesotans.

  14. Helper says:

    ‘social welfare and tax hike policies’

    This is the problem with republicans. They can’t see the forest from the trees. I think we should have a system where people can opt out of things like education, fire departments, police, medical services. Oh wait just move to Arkansas where taxes are low and stupidity is high.
    You’ll fit in great Joe. I’m sure of it!

  15. Rob Wagner says:

    Nicole, go hug a tree, it’s probably the only thing that will hug you back.

    1. Nicole says:

      Ok, that deosn’t really pertain to anything I said but sure why not! I personaly voted for the indepentdent as I felt he was the best man for the job. As you can see I am not running aroung whining about it. This country needs to stop being so polarized and learn to work with each and not against each other. It is actually ok to have opinions that are not the same as everyone else.

  16. Joe says:

    Check your facts helper (can see why thats your name) Emmer never wanted to cut police or fire or reduce their pensions etc… With education however when you have stupid teachers who are in it for the paycheck and don’t teach, why throw more money at it (Actually working for money and not having it spoom-fed to you, what a concept) Can’t see the forest from the trees, sorry not down with lib rehtoric. But if I lived in a tree, I may be able to get it, but I guess according to helper Im stupid.

    1. Ignorance must be bliss says:

      Joe, Helper is not the only 1 that thinks you’re stupid. It is not about the ideas that you have either, you are entitles to those. The reason you are stupid is that you think that you can go on a OPINIONS page and yell at everyone because they do not agree with you. Pretty dumb huh? Just to let you know as well, the saying “cannot see the forest from the trees” is not “lib rhetoric” and if you have never heard that before maybe you should not be telling others they need more education. Just a hint there buddy.

  17. Mrshotgun says:

    Just what MN needs a mentally incapable drunken Governor!!! To go along with are mentally incapable Senator!! Way to go voter’s,now you all get to see how fast your taxes go up!!!! I just don’t get how you can have more vote’s than voter’s??? Can you say cheaters!!!!!!

    1. BB says:

      Holy Smokes … didn’t know you wanted to smoke ol’ Bachmann too Mrshotgun. Not aiming at yourself are ya?
      Pay today or pass it on to you kids…DFL and GOP. If I’m honest with myself I’d rather do the GOP pass along but I have kids so I’ll suck it up and pay instead of them. Makes sense as we are the ones created this mess

  18. Joe says:

    Thank You MrsShotgun!

  19. Bill says:

    Very poor canidate by the republicans in the first place. Hand picked cronie of Pawlenty. Neither one is worth a two hockey pucks to me. I allways vote republican for govenor but this year it was embarassing to say the least.

  20. Bill says:

    i love how everyone pulls the drunken governor card, if you repubs remember you guys were trying to elect a guy with two drunk driving offenses.

  21. Murph says:

    Even one extra day of Pawlenty would have been one too many !

  22. mwern says:

    What boggles my mind that Emmer supporters should be well aware since your trash talking Dayton, is that he was/is in favor of increasing the legal limit for a DWI charge while knowing he was charged with one.

    If you recall there was a Mother that aired a Commercial during the Campaign that lost her son John, to a Drunk Driver. He was my Nieces Fiance and the Funeral was horrendous so give me a break and quit acting like he’s so wonderful!!!

  23. Bruiser says:

    He’s a Saint … in the eyes of the “ain’ts” …. nuff said

  24. Common Sense says:

    Excuse me ‘Helper’ wasn’t the hero (and Mr Clinton) of the Modern Left movement from Arkansas??

    Does anyone have the statistics of Intoxicated Driving infractions or admitted patients at Hazeldon for Rep’s vs Dem’s? It’s irrelevant on both sides! The fact is the majority of all offenses are plead down as it is now. Addition can affect all people.

    I believe actions speak louder then words and that is exactly what I am afraid of for Minnesota now.

  25. john says:

    there is plenty of proof that shows illegal votes and fraud. in one precint there were over 100 illegal votes cast for dayton all in a row. one right after the other.

    in fact there were around 25,000 more votes cast in minnesota then there are registered voters. but thats ok because mark ritchie says we have no voter fraud here in minnesota. of course thats coming from the man who cant hand in his official election reports until 7 months after they are supposed to be in.

    you have to go past what the state run media puts out if you actually want to find the facts. most liberals however seem to follow there emotions and not use there own actual brains to make informed decisions.

    1. mwern says:

      Follow emotions rather than facts … Give me a break! If things are so messed up than why don’t you run for office instead of insulting people that you no nothing about.

  26. John says:

    I’m John a middle aged white male. I drive a truck and vote republican. I get my news from Fox News since they are fair and balanced. I don’t have a college degree and am on social security since i can’t work anymore after getting hurt at the plant. I think all blacks need to get a job.Immigrants should go home since they are lazy.
    I’m an NRA member and conceal carry to protect people,its my god given right.I go to chuch always.

  27. I Voted says:

    John (with little j)
    The state almost always has more votes cast than registered voters. MN has same day voter registration. These people are obviously not on the voter rolls until after the elections when they are credited for voting.

    Don’t let Sutton and crew pull you around by the ring in your nose. Think for yourself and check facts!

  28. B says:

    we got a governor that is going to help this state not ruin it even more like Pawlenty did

  29. wayne haler says:

    Hey Republicans – if you want smaller government, I suggest you quit and go home. That would help things immensely right off the bat. Or, maybe you could at least “volunteer” and give your salary back to the tax payers you SAY you are trying to protect. A VERY simple way for you to “put your money where your mouth always is”

  30. helper says:


    GLENN BECK gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.

    He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

    All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal UNION workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now GLENN BECK gets it too.
    He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. GLENN BECK’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

    GLENN BECK takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.
    GLENN BECK dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree-hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

    He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

    GLENN BECK begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal UNION members FOUGHT AND DIED for these working standards.
    GLENN BECK’s employer pays these standards because GLENN BECK’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call “the union”.

    If GLENN BECK is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

    It’s noon time, GLENN BECK needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills.
    GLENN BECK’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC and FDIC because some liberal wanted to protect GLENN BECK’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the 1929 economic depression.

    GLENN BECK has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that GLENN BECK and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

    GLENN BECK is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dad’s; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards.

    He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republicans would still be sitting in the dark).

    He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his UNION pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so GLENN BECK wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

    He turns on a radio talk show, the host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good (He doesn’t tell GLENN BECK that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit GLENN BECK enjoys throughout his day).

    GLENN BECK agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

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