Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called on incumbent Republican Norm Coleman to concede the Minnesota Senate race to Democrat Al Franken.
In his inaugural address to the Congress on Tuesday, the Nevada Democrat referred to the Minnesota Senate seat as a Democratic seat and to Coleman as a “former senator,” citing the state canvassing board’s Monday certification of Franken as the winner with a lead of 225 votes.
“This is a difficult time for former Senator Coleman and his family, and he is entitled to the opportunity to concede this election graciously,” Reid said.
“But we cannot let this drag on forever. I hope that former Senator Coleman and all of our Republican colleagues will choose to respect the will of the people of Minnesota.”
Reid disclosed that Democrats would not seek to seat Franken on Tuesday, but said on the Senate floor that Franken’s term “must begin, and will begin soon. Even close elections have winners.”
The Hill newspaper’s Web site reported that Franken did not travel to Washington on Tuesday, when the senators who won their elections in November were sworn in.
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