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Recount: Democrat Wins Minnesota House Seat in Bemidji Area

A recount has found an 11-vote lead for a Democrat in a Bemidji-area race for state House. A recount has found an 11-vote lead for a Democrat in a Bemidji-area race for state House. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Created: December 04, 2018 03:32 PM

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - A recount shows Democrat John Persell winning a Minnesota House seat in the Bemidji area.

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Persell had eight more votes that Republican state Rep. Matt Bliss going into Monday's recount. After the recount, Persell had an 11-vote lead over Bliss.

In addition to Bemidji, the District 5A seat includes portions of western Itasca County and northern Cass County.

The State Canvassing Board will finalize the recount results at a Dec. 17 meeting. Beltrami County's auditor-treasurer, JoDee Treat, tells the Star Tribune there is one contested ballot where the board will have to try to determine the voter's intent.

Volunteers and election officials counted nearly 17,000 ballots by hand.

Persell severed in the Legislature for eight years before Bliss defeated him in 2016. Persell was among Democrats who helped win control of the state House from Republicans in November. The recount affirms Democrats will hold 75 seats in the House, while Republicans control 59 seats.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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