"I think we came within 8,700 [votes] of accomplishing something not a lot of people thought we could do," said Emmer in his concession speech.
"I don't know that I'd change much," he said of the campaign. "I feel like I had one of those life-changing experiences."
Emmer praised state Party Chairman Tony Sutton, who had been aggressive in his comments saying that Republicans might go to court to challenge the governor's race recount. "Tony Sutton's been an absolute gentleman," he said.
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The two biggest state government unions reached tentative contract agreements with the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton, giving raises to more than 30,000 state workers of 2.5 percent in July 2015 and another 2.5 percent in 2016.