With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Posts about Recount

Franken looking strong in 2014 re-election bid

Posted by: Updated: January 22, 2013 - 3:09 PM
U.S. Sen. Al Franken, widely seen as a top GOP target in 2014, starts the next political cycle with no clear opponent and a 6 to 14 point lead over four potential challengers, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.
The poll finds Franken with a 52 percent approval rating among Minnesota voters, with 41 percent registering disapproval. (The numbers generally break down along party lines, with 89 percent of Democrats approving, 83 percent of Republicans disapproving).
More significant to Franken’s fortunes may be what the pollsters called a “weak Republican bench” in Minnesota.
In a study of hypothetical match-ups, Franken leads former Sen. Norm Coleman (who has said he’s not running) by 6 points (50 to 44), Rep. John Kline by 8 points (49 to 41), Rep. Erik Paulsen by 11 points (50 to 39), and Rep. Michele Bachmann by 14 points (54 to 40).
Even more significant, Bachmann, who did the worst of anyone the pollsters tested against Franken, emerges as the top choice of GOP voters in Minnesota to take him on next year.
Among Republicans, 45 percent – far and away the most – say they would like her to be their candidate. That compares to 19 percent for Kline, 11 percent for Paulsen, 4 percent for U. of M. regent and former state Rep. Laura Brod, and 2 percent for Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.
(Recently defeated U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack was the favorite of 13 percent of Republicans, but he has signaled that he is moving to be with his family in New Hampshire).
A Franken-Bachmann match-up might be the most interesting from a spectator’s point of view, and both have shown themselves to be prodigious fundraisers. Franken, however, would start with a distinct advantage. Only 35 percent of voters in the state have a positive opinion of Bachmann, compared to 59 percent who see her in a negative light.
“The desire of Minnesota Republicans to nominate Bachmann suggests they didn't learn much from their failures last year,” the pollsters said.
Of course it’s still early. At this time in 2007, Franken had yet to announce his 2008 candidacy. And when he won after a long recount, it was scarcely by 312 votes. But given his current standing versus Coleman, he’s basically 6 points stronger than he was in 2008.
However the pundits slice it, Public Policy Polling concluded: “Al Franken does not appear to be among the more vulnerable incumbent Senators next year.”

Recounts over, state certifies House, Senate winners

Posted by: Updated: December 4, 2012 - 4:53 PM

The recounts are over the state has certified the winners in the last two disputed Legislative races in Minnesota.

Democrat Kevin L. Dahle won the state Senate District 20 election, the state canvassing board concluded Tuesday.  The board also certified that incumbent state Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, won reelection in state House District 8B.

Both races were decided by mere handfuls of votes. Dahle edged out Republican candidate Mike Dudley by 71 votes out of more than 41,000 cast. During the recount, Dudley picked up six more votes and Dahle lost one.

The final vote tally in Senate District 20 was 20,627 votes for Dahle and  20,556 for Dudley.

On election night, Franson led Democratic challenger Bob Cunniff by just one vote. She picked up 10 more after a judge ordered election officials to discard 35 ballots as a result of a polling place error. During the recount, Franson picked up two more votes and Cunniff picked up one.

The final vote in House District 8B was 10,642 votes for Franson and 10,630 for Cunniff.

Under Minnesota law, any election decided by a margin of less than one-half of one percent triggers a recount at taxpayer expense. Neither race affects the balance of power in the state Legislature. Democrats have won majorities in both houses.


Franson wins House District 8B recount by 12 votes

Posted by: Updated: November 29, 2012 - 3:36 PM

The recount is over in House District 8B, leaving state Rep. Mary Franson with a 12-vote lead over her Democratic challenger Bob Cunniff.

Franson, a freshman Republican from Alexandria, picked up one extra vote Thursday when Otter Tail County recounted its ballots. In the end, Franson had 4,799 votes in Otter Tail to Cunniff's 3,790 votes.

Cunniff's attorneys are challenging four of the ballots in Otter Tail County, and the campaigns also challenged one vote each in Douglas. But the combined challenges wouldn't be enough to hand Cunniff the win in the state's closest election of 2012.

Franson led by 11 votes Wednesday, after her home county of Douglas wrapped up its recount. She won by the election by a single vote, but picked up 10 more after a court ordered Douglas County to discard dozens of ballots after a polling place error.

The recount results are unofficial until the state canvassing board meets on Dec. 4 at 1:30 p.m. There is also always a possiblity of a court challenge to the election results.






A recount is "like reporter Christmas. With math."

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: November 28, 2012 - 6:12 PM

The Star Tribune's Jennifer Brooks covered the first day of the Minnesota House recount of the race between Republican Mary Franson and Democrat Bob Cunniff on Wednesday.

You can read all about it in Thursday's paper but in the meantime, check out how she tweeted about the day here:


One-vote House race is now an 11-vote House race

Posted by: Updated: November 21, 2012 - 2:10 PM

State Rep. Mary Franson's one-vote election lead is now an 11-vote lead.

The Douglas County board of canvassers discarded 35 randomly chosen ballots Wednesday afternoon to make up for ballots that were mistakenly cast in the District 8B race by residents of neighboring House District 12B. All the errors were found in precincts shared by both districts.

Franson, a House freshman, won by a single vote over her Democratic challenger, Bob Cunniff. Her attorneys petitioned a Douglas County district court to have the votes discarded to compensate for the ballot error. 

Cunniff's attorneys argued against tossing the ballots out, questioning whether the situation at the Alexandria precincts met the criteria for pulling ballots. They also argued that discarding random ballots would likely disenfranchise dozens of 8B residents who did nothing wrong on Election Day.

A Douglas County judge ruled in Franson's favor Tuesday, clearing the way for the board of canvassers to begin work.

The extra votes for Franson won't change the plans for the full recount that's scheduled to begin next week. The state canvassing board will meet Tuesday, Nov. 27, and the district recount is set to begin on Nov. 28 and continue until Thursday or Friday.