Bliss/Persell House Of Representatives 5A Race Could Lead To Recount
The only district in the Lakeland viewing area that could be changing hands is House 5A, where former state representative and DFL candidate John Persell leads incumbent Matt Bliss by eight votes with all precincts accounted for. Persell has not been determined the winner because the close vote could trigger a recount.
When asked about the tight race, Persell says, “I’m not expecting a lot of change. I know a lot of the folks that work on, as election judges, around the precincts. You know, they do a really good job.”
Bliss says, “I’m still very excited. You know, John worked hard and got a lot of people out. The turnout for our side wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it was. The election is still not over yet. They’re still very very close.”
Next Tuesday, the county will canvas the results which will make everything official. Jodee Treat, the Beltrami County Auditor and Treasurer, says, “We go through all of the results; review some of the numbers; review the tapes, and then we put our stamp of approval on them and that’s what makes them official.”
After the canvas, if the numbers are still extremely close, the next move will be up to the candidate who received the least amount of votes.
Treat says, “If the candidate in District 5A is still the losing candidate by one half of one percent, then at that point he has the option of filing a written request to have a recount done on just that particular race.”
The recount would be publicly funded and would take place between December 3rd and December 10th. With the election still up in the air, Persell is remaining cautiously optimistic.
“Ensure that we have a win here. I mean, that’s first, but other than that nothing’s really changed. I mean, I’m looking forward to working with the Democrat majority in the Minnesota House of Representative, “says Persell.
As for Bliss, if the election doesn’t swing in his favor, he says he’s not sure about a 2020 rematch yet. If it does, he still has big plans for St. Paul.
Bliss says, “I’ve got a lot of things already in the works down in St. Paul. You know, the Beltrami County fiscal cliff that we’ve been experiencing. I’ve already got leadership down there, or actually now, it will be the minority leadership, but we’re aware of it and work with the new majority in St. Paul.”