If there's one thing Minnesota knows, it's election recounts,
after living through the 2008 Franken-Coleman Senate race marathon
and 2010's shorter Dayton-Emmer recount in the governor's race.
Nationally, this cycle, both campaigns are preparing for possible
recounts in battleground states that could determine the presidency,
according to Politico.
That means recruiting lawyers.
"They are all bracing for Florida in 2000 -- everyone wants to be
in position so as not to be disadvantaged by a court decision in a
tie," Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain's 2008 campaign, told
Politico. "This [is] a preventive strategy. They are largely in
search of problems that don't yet exist. It's like the Cold War and
nuclear capability. You want to have what the other guy has."
In Minnesota, with its 10 electoral votes up for grabs and two
controversial constitutional amendments on the ballot, many of the
players have lawyered up, too.
Ken Martin, chairman of the DFL, said attorneys are currently
working to catalogue information to prepare for any potential
recount here but wouldn't address specific examples. The party
itself has hundreds of lawyers across the state, he said, to help
with election integrity efforts at the polls.
The Obama campaign has retained David Lillehaug, a prominent DFL
attorney who worked on Minnesota's last two recounts, Martin said.
Iin the case of a recount in Minnesota's presidential race,
Lillehaug would take direction from Obama campaign attorney Bob
Bauer and the Democratic National Committee, Martin said.
"Some of the best lawyers in the state are on retainer just in
case, and that's clearly what's happened here," he said. "I think
Obama is going to win this state, but if it [a recount] does happen,
we're certainly not going to get caught flatfooted. We'll be
Jeff Blodgett, who is running Obama's campaign here, said Bauer
likely hasn't spent much time thinking about Minnesota so far.
Kelly Fenton, deputy chair of the Minnesota GOP, declined to
comment on who state Republicans have retained. Romney doesn't have
a campaign organization here, but the state party has established
its own ground game for the candidate.
GOP Chair Pat Shortridge told KARE 11 that his party "has more
election judges and poll watchers than ever before."
The closest congressional race is expected to be the 8th District
contest between GOP incumbent Chip Cravaack and former Democratic
Congressman Rick Nolan. …