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Al Franken Wins

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MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of a tight U.S. Senate race over Republican Norm Coleman, which should give Democrats the 60-seat majority they need to overcome procedural obstacles and push through their agenda.

Coleman has said in published reports he is unlikely to appeal the state court's decision to the federal courts. Under state law, the court's decision gives Franken the right to occupy the seat, which has been up for grabs since last November's election.

Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has said he will certify the election winner based on what the state court decides.

If the decision holds up, Democrats will control 60 of the 100 Senate seats — enough to overcome Republican procedural roadblocks in a clear boost to President Barack Obama's agenda.

Reaction from Harry Reid:

“I congratulate Senator-elect Al Franken, the next Senator from the state of Minnesota.

“The people of Minnesota will now finally get the brilliant and hardworking new senator they elected in November and the full representation they deserve.  After all the votes have been counted and recounted, the Minnesota Supreme Court has made the final determination that Minnesotans have chosen Al Franken to help their state and our country get back on track.

“The Senate looks forward to welcoming Senator-elect Franken as soon as possible.  He will play a crucial role as we work to strengthen our economy, ensure all Americans can access and afford quality health care, make our country more energy independent, confirm the President’s outstanding nominee to the Supreme Court, and tackle the many other challenges we face.

“I once again encourage Governor Pawlenty to respect the votes of his constituents and the decisions of his state’s highest court.  He should put politics aside, follow his state’s laws and finally sign the certificate that will bring this episode to an end.”

People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan:


“It’s taken quite a while, but Senator Franken’s victory is now official. That’s good news for Minnesotans and for all of us. Governor Pawlenty has said he would certify the election results, and he should do so immediately.

“Senator Franken’s victory should finally put to rest GOP threats to filibuster this President Obama’s agenda. With any luck, Senate Republicans will take this opportunity to stop obstructing the important work that needs to get done for the country and actually start helping to get it done.”

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