DeNucci wins Iron Range DFL primary by 41 votes, McLaughlin mulls recount

DeNucci wins Iron Range DFL primary by 41 votes, McLaughlin mulls recount
DeNucci wins Iron Range DFL primary by 41 votes, McLaughlin mulls recount(KBJR-TV)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 10:58 AM CDT
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IRON RANGE, MN -- Just 41 votes separated the two DFL candidates in Tuesday’s primary for the Minnesota state senate’s District 7 seat.

The seat was left vacant when longtime state Sen. David Tomassoni, a DFL’er of Chisholm, retired this year as he fights ALS.

Ben DeNucci, a small business owner from Nashwauk and Itasca County Board member, narrowly won Tuesday’s primary. He received 50.26% of the vote, or 4,003 votes.

Kim Kotonias McLaughlin, an Iron Range accountant who works for Minnesota North College, received 49.74% of the vote, or 3,962 votes.

That’s a 41 vote difference, which comes out to a difference of 0.52 percent.

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State, a publicly funded recount is triggered in a state legislative office race when the difference between two candidtaes is less than 0.5 percent.

While that wasn’t the case in this primary, McLaughlin still has the option to request what’s called a discretionary recount.

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State, McLaughlin has the option to pay for her own recount.

In an email Wednesday morning, McLaughlin said she has not decided if she will request a recount yet.

According to state law, a candidate must submit a request for a discretionary recount along with the funds to cover the cost of the recount within five days of the canvass of a primary election or within seven days of the canvass of a general election.

A candidate who requests a discretionary recount may specify up to three precincts to be recounted first. The candidate may waive the remainder of the recount after the specified precincts are recounted.

The winner of the DFL primary will face republican Rob Farnsworth in November. He’s a teacher and real estate agent in Hibbing.

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