After much contention Al Franken wins Minnesota Senate seat

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Al Franken of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (affiliated with US Democratic Party), has formally won the United States Senate seat representing Minnesota, which had been contested ever since the November 4, 2008 election.

Al Franken in 2008
Image: Jonathunder.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday declared that Franken had won the most votes in the election and was entitled to have the election certified by Governor Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty has said he will shortly sign the formal document.

Franken's opponent, incumbent Norm Coleman of the Republican Party, quickly conceded after the court ruling. Coleman, in his concession, congratulated Franken and said, "The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken. I respect its decision and I will abide by its result."

After a series of recounts, Franken had a lead of just 312 votes, which led Coleman's campaign to challenge the fairness of the recount in the courts.

Franken gave a speech after his victory and stated: "I'm thrilled and honored by the faith that Minnesotans have placed in me. ... We have a lot of work to do in Washington."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that he expects Franken to be seated next week after the weekend, which is longer due to the upcoming Independence Day holiday.

President Barack Obama said, "I look forward to working with Senator-elect Franken to build a new foundation for growth and prosperity by lowering health care costs and investing in the kind of clean energy jobs and industries that will help America lead in the 21st century,"

Prior to entering politics, Al Franken was known for his work on Saturday Night Live and as host of The Al Franken Show on Air America Media, as well as for some film and literary work.