Mary Franson wins recount in belated MNGOP election night success story

Franson ended up edging Cunniff by a dozen votes out of more than 21,000 cast.

Franson ended up edging Cunniff by a dozen votes out of more than 21,000 cast.

After election night, Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, improbably led her Democratic challenger, Bob Cunniff, by a single vote.

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Following the discovery of an election night snafu at a polling place in her district -- 32 voters received the wrong ballot -- her lead was revised upward to 11 votes, a margin still close enough to trigger an automatic recount. But with that recount completed this afternoon, it appears Franson will officially remain a part of our lives for at least two more years. Real Capitol View is reporting that will all votes retallied, Franson leads by 12.

[jump] That's still remarkably close considering over 21,000 votes were cast in the Franson-Cunniff race. By contrast, when Franson was first elected to office in 2010, she defeated her Democratic challenger by a 50 to 33 percent margin.

She probably didn't do herself any favors during a gaffe-filled year in which she compared food stamps recipients to wild animals; characterized Earth Day as a "Pagan holiday;" filed a salacious restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, McLeod County MNGOP chair Eric Harpel; and faced allegations she drove home drunk from an Alexandria bar.

But a win is a win. And in the wake of a disastrous November 6, 2012, local Republicans will have to take them where they can.

:::: UPDATE ::::

2:19 p.m. -- As pointed out by Jennifer Brooks of the Star Tribune, it should be noted that the recount results are unofficial pending the state canvassing board's certification. The board next meets on December 4.