Recount enters final stages

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 12/13/00.

The result of the recount of votes in the Second Congressional District were brought back to the Wright County Courthouse on Monday.

Attorneys for both Rep. David Minge (DFL-Montevideo) and his apparently successful challenger Mark Kennedy (R-Watertown) will examine contested ballots with Judge Bruce Douglas.

Over 2,000 were brought back to the courthouse for review. The two parties agreed on splitting 1,600 votes, but over 300 votes were still disputed on Monday.

The recount in 29 counties of the Second Congressional District finished last week. The district stretches from the southern Twin Cities suburbs to the borders with Iowa and South Dakota.

The Kennedy recount committee reports that Kennedy increased his lead by 79 votes and that he now leads Minge by 234 votes.

The recount ended Friday with the completion of Renville and Chippewa counties. Over 280,000 votes were recounted.

"The combination of a vote increase and a lack of serious challenges by the Minge campaign make Congressman-elect Kennedy's swearing in on Jan. 3 inevitable," said Tony Trimble, lead attorney for Kennedy. "We look forward to going to court and finishing this as quickly as possible."

Locally, work in Meeker and Kandiyohi counties started on Thursday, Nov. 30, the first day of the recounts. The work in Meeker took two days and the work in Kandiyohi three.

County officials merely acted as observers, providing the ballots for the three-person recount teams. Both counties sent the report directly to the Wright County Courthouse.

The recount in Stearns involved only four precincts: the cities of Paynesville and Eden Valley, and the townships of Paynesville and Eden Lake. The recount was done in a few hours on Thursday, Dec. 7, and Kennedy gained one vote.

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