Emmer said the journey [of running for governor] that started 17 months ago “was the best experience of our lives.” Throughout the campaign he was reminded of the goodness and kindess of Minnesotans. He said he spent 16 months working to be governor because he had a vision and that about a million Minnesotans “agreed with us on where this state needs to go – that government must be redesigned and reformed to serve the people.” People told him it couldn’t be done – “a common sense conservative winning on the message of smaller government, individual liberty and economic freedom.” Emmer lost the election by some 8,700 votes, a conclusion confirmed by recount.
Emmer specifically thanked David Fitzsimmons; Tony Sutton, chair of the MN GOP; Annette Meeks, his Emmer’s running mate; and his wife Jackie. He said, “If there is one regret we should all have, it is that this state will not get to experience Jackie as the first lady.”
In acknowledging defeat, Emmer said it “wasn’t about us or which party should govern” but that the message he offered was rejected. He also said, “we respect that choice.”
He then turned to the issue of election integrity but failed to remind his audience that Minnesota has already proven itself a national leader in this area. He opined that the MN Supreme Court has left the door open for a lawsuit regarding the issue of reconciliation, citing a footnote on page 6 of their recent ruling:
“Court left the issue of reconciliation open – in a footnote on page 6. This leaves the door open for a lawsuit. We must address the questions raised, but I do not believe a delay in seating next governor will help [to] unite us or move our state forward…We should not be surprised if there are citizens who might still pursue claims to attempt to address the integrity of our election system, it will not be an election contest and I will not be involved.”
He then said he would work to “bring attention to these issues” hinting that he would be speaking out and, perhaps, working behind the scenes to get legislation enacted that would force all Minnesotans to show a photo I.D. when they vote, although all Minnesotans are already required to produce a photo I.D. when they register to vote.
Before taking only a few mostly innocuous questions, Emmer said he would “give Mark Dayton and the Dayton administration the respect it deserves.” He reminded the audience that “Dayton] was not elected to be the governor of Minnesota Democrats, he was elected to be the governor of the state,” then offered his assistance to Governor-Elect Mark Dayton: “We congratulate and offer to help him in any way that we can.”