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Franken-Coleman race most expensive

Dec. 30, 2009 at 3:55 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The drawn-out U.S. Senate race in Minnesota also was a costly one, the Federal Elections Commission reported.

The FEC said U.S. Sen. Al Franken collected $22.5 million to become Minnesota's junior senator while Norm Coleman took in $19.3 million, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.

The totals mean Franken and Coleman, ironically, were 1-2 fundraisers, collecting $14-plus for each of the 2.9 votes cast, the newspaper said.

"This was easily the most expensive race in the United States last year ... (and) in Minnesota history," David Schultz, a Hamline University professor and campaign finance expert, told the Pioneer Press.

Both candidates raised funds after the Nov. 4 election to cover the costs of a recount and a six-month court battle.

The vote difference between Coleman and Franken triggered an automatic recount after Election Day. Franken held the lead since January and a trial court in April ruled he won the highest number of legally cast votes. Coleman, seeking to be returned to the Senate, challenged the results, first before a three-judge panel then before the state Supreme Court.

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