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GOP adds to legal team for Minnesota governor race recount

ST. PAUL (AP) -- Minnesota Republicans added muscle to their governor's race recount team Tuesday by hiring former Chief Justice Eric Magnuson as the top litigator on GOP nominee Tom Emmer's behalf.

ST. PAUL (AP) -- Minnesota Republicans added muscle to their governor's race recount team Tuesday by hiring former Chief Justice Eric Magnuson as the top litigator on GOP nominee Tom Emmer's behalf.

That underscores the aggressive stand the party is taking toward the effort to overcome an 8,750-vote lead by Democrat Mark Dayton.

Magnuson served on the state canvassing board during the 2008 recount that resulted in Democrat Al Franken's Senate victory. Magnuson, an appointee of outgoing Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, stepped down from the state Supreme Court last summer, citing personal reasons.

"As a former member of the state canvassing board, Eric understands the issues at stake during this process," Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton said. The legal team is led by Washington lawyer Michael Toner.

Emmer was set to make his first public appearance Tuesday since election night. A spokesman, Carl Kuhl, said ahead of time that Emmer wouldn't retreat.

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"We're going to see this one through," Kuhl said. "We're going to make sure every vote is counted."

Dayton, meanwhile, has formally opened a fundraising account to finance activities related to the expected recount.

An adviser filed a form with the IRS on Monday to establish the Dayton Recount Fund. No similar account exists for Emmer. His recount efforts are being coordinated by the state Republican Party.

The Dayton filing was made by Ken Martin, who is heading the former senator's recount team. State campaign regulators have previously said that normal fundraising rules, including donation limits, don't apply to a recount.

For the second straight day, Pawlenty was due to meet privately with one of the men who could take his job. He had a discussion with Emmer on Monday and set aside time to sit down with Dayton on Tuesday.

Pawlenty said he wants to help both men get ready to take the reins. He's made top budget officials and other advisers available to discuss a transition complicated by the recount.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Related Topics: TOM EMMER
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