MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Republican Stewart Mills said on Monday that he will request and pay for a recount of votes cast in the northern Minnesota congressional district race he lost narrowly to Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan.
Mills lost by 2,009 votes out of 356, 971 cast in the Eighth Congressional District — or about half a percentage point — which is too large to trigger an automatic recount under state law.
Mills told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in an interview (http://strib.mn/2fZ7KPP ) that there are enough questions about the outcome to merit a recount.
"We're not alleging voter fraud, we're not saying anyone got the numbers wrong, but there's enough questions that need to be answered that can only be answered by a hand recount," Mills said.
Nolan's campaign manager, Joe Radinovich, said the margin in the result was more than twice the threshold in state law. He said the outcome is unlikely to change.
"Mr. Mills choice to pay for a recount is unprecedented, and it calls into question the integrity of Minnesota's election system," he said.
Mills said he will officially file his recount request on Tuesday, after the State Canvassing Board certifies the Nov. 8 election results.
The sprawling district is one of the few predominantly rural U.S. House seats held by a Democrat. Mills ran against Nolan two years ago and lost by a larger margin of 4,000 votes.
Mills is a member of the Minnesota family that built the Mills Fleet Farms retail company.