Republican Concedes Minnesota Governor’s Race

By Brian Bakst and Martiga Lohn | December 8, 2010 | 5:57 AM EST

St. Paul, Minn. (AP) - Delano, Minn. (AP) - Republican Tom Emmer has conceded the Minnesota governor's race to Mark Dayton, after a statewide recount made little difference in the Democrat's election night lead of nearly 9,000 votes.

Emmer said Wednesday that state voters made their choice, by a thin margin, and he respects that choice. He could have sued, but decided against it after a key state Supreme Court decision went against him a day earlier.

Emmer's concession vaults Dayton back into power just four years after he quit the U.S. Senate after a single term. It also gives Democrats the governor's office, a prize they haven't won in 20 years.

Dayton has to move quickly with his transition. He's due to take office Jan. 3 and the state has a budget deficit of more than $6 billion.