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Coleman to stay course vs. Franken

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 8 (UPI) -- Supporters of Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman say a decision by the state's governor to forgo re-election won't influence Coleman's U.S. Senate lawsuit.

Speculation was mounting in St. Paul and elsewhere that Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision not to seek a third term in 2010 -- perhaps to seek the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nomination -- means Coleman is planning to end his legal battle with Democrat Al Franken to overturn his recount loss in November's Senate race and instead run to replace Pawlenty.

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But unnamed Coleman sources say that's not the case, the Washington publication Politico reported Monday.

"Not at all," said the source. "He ran for U.S. senator, wants to continue being a U.S. senator. … What (Pawlenty) has done or not done has never been a factor in his decision-making."

"I do not think he will quit before the (U.S.) Supreme Court rules on the case," added an unnamed former Coleman staffer. "He has too many resources invested and has a good case on equal protection."

Coleman's case to overturn Franken's apparent 312-vote win is being considered by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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