Former high school wrestler Al Franken is the new Senator from Minnesota… up to 2002, the state had been served by another ex-wrestler, the late Paul Wellstone.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Norm Coleman conceded to Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota’s contested Senate race on Tuesday, ending a nearly eight-month recount and court fight over an election decided by only a few hundred votes.
Coleman announced his decision at a news conference in St. Paul hours after a unanimous Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Franken, a former ”Saturday Night Live” comedian and liberal commentator, should be certified the winner.
”The Supreme Court has made its decision and I will abide by the results,” Coleman told reporters outside his St. Paul home.
Coleman, appearing relaxed and upbeat, said he had congratulated Franken, was at peace with the decision and had no regrets about the fight, which started almost immediately after the Nov. 4 election.
”Sure I wanted to win,” said Coleman, who called the ruling a surprise. ”I thought we had a better case. But the court has spoken.”
He declined to talk about his future plans, brushing aside a question about whether he would run for governor in 2010.
Franken’s presence in the Senate would give the Democrats control of 60 seats, enough to overcome any Republican filibuster if they stay united.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the earliest Franken would be seated is next week, because the Senate is out of session for the July 4 holiday.
”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,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.