SAINT CLOUD, MN The GOP will take control of the Minnesota Senate when the legislature convenes January 3, 2016. A recount in Senate District 14 between Republican Jerry Relph and DFL candidate Dan Wolgamott has ended in Relph being declared the election winner.
The election recount was initiated when the election night result fell within the half-percentage threshold required for a state-sponsored recount. Relph defeated Wolgamott by 148 votes on election night; the recount narrowed his lead by seven votes to 141. The results must be signed off on by the state canvassing board on Monday to make them official.
The recount took three days to complete. Votes in Stearns, Sherburne and Benton counties were counted, out of which Wolgamott gained seven votes. Wolgamott posted on his campaign Facebook page that the recount was completed, and that he would be making a “more complete statement” of his intentions later in the week after a briefing from his legal team.
Relph’s recount victory ensures the GOP control of the State Senate with a 34-33 majority. Had the recount gone for Wolgamott, the Senate would have remained under DFL control. The win puts the entire legislature into GOP control, since the DFL was unable to win the seven seats necessary to take control of the House, giving the GOP more votes than the DFL in the legislature for only the second time more than 40 years. (Bemidji Pioneer)