Friday, December 05, 2008

Minnesota Senate: Gregoire Offers Recount Advice to Franken

By Nathan L. Gonzales

Al Franken certainly isn’t the first candidate to endure a long recount. Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) knows all about close races and recounts, and she recently offered her advice to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee in the protracted Minnesota Senate race.

“I told him, don’t let [Republicans] market that something is wrong with the recount,” Gregoire said Tuesday, reflecting on her personal call to Franken. “Don’t let that happen. Recounts happen in America.”

Franken is in the middle of a recount in Minnesota and trails narrowly in his race against Sen. Norm Coleman (R). Gregoire was first elected in 2004, after trailing in two machine recounts by 129 votes and 47 votes, and finally prevailing by 129 votes in a third, manual recount.

“[People should] respect the recount process. It’s part of the system in our country,” Gregoire said in an interview Tuesday while on her way from the governors’ meeting with President-elect Barack Obama in Philadelphia to the annual Democratic Governors Association meeting in Washington, D.C.

Former state Sen. Dino Rossi, the 2004 Republican nominee, ran against Gregoire again in 2008, but the Democrat prevailed by a much wider margin, 53 percent to 47 percent.

This story first appeared on on December 2, 2008. 2008 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.