In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Pawlenty: 'I Will Continue To Serve As Governor' In Case Of MN Recount

Newscom / CD1

Pawlenty's office issued this statement to the state press, and they also gave us a copy:

"The hard work and participation of so many Minnesotans leading up to and throughout yesterday's election affirms Minnesota's civic mindedness. While questions remain about the outcome of several contests, there is a process in place to provide the people of Minnesota with a final result as quickly as fairness and the law allows.

My administration is fully committed and prepared to accomplish the swift and orderly transition to the next governor as soon as a final determination is made. As required by Article V of the Minnesota Constitution, I will continue to serve as Governor until a new governor takes the oath."

Now here's a fun wrinkle: In a big upset, Republicans won both houses of the Minnesota legislature yesterday, taking over from what were previous big Dem majorities. The Minnesota media have noticed that a Dayton win would create a mirror image of the old status quo -- GOP governor with Dem legislature becomes Dem governor with GOP legislature. But it appears that there is a possibility of some window of time when Minnesota could have unified Republican rule.

Of course, it's also possible that this process won't drag out nearly as long as the Senate recount did. First of all, Dayton's lead is now roughly dozens of times more than anything Norm Coleman or Al Franken ever enjoyed, and there usually isn't that much give in the numbers.

Furthermore -- and this could be a crucial point -- there is now a fresh body of state legal precedents for any disputes that pop up along the way.

But who knows?