First recount in statewide race in 46 years likely to be approved Tuesday

A nondescript primary election night? Well, there’s still a little suspense left.

For the first time in 46 years, the state’s Canvassing Board is expected to order a recount of a statewide race, in this case the race for a Supreme Court associate-justice seat.

On primary night, incumbent Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea trounced the four-person field, getting about 53 percent of the vote. The battle, however, is over who will face her in November’s election, Deborah Hedlund, a Hennepin County district court judge, or Jill Clark, a Twin Cities’ attorney known for her combative style.

Hedlund won 17.86 percent of the primary vote, and Clark, 17.43 percent — a difference of 1,348 votes. State law requires a recount when the margin is less than half of a percentage point between candidates, unless the losing candidate waives the recount.

The other primary race that likely will require a recount is over involves the Independence Party primary for House seat 3A. Just three votes separated winner Bill Hamm from Chris Pfeifer in that IP race. The recount shouldn’t take long. A total of 143 votes were cast in the race. The seat currently is held by DFLer Tom Anzelc.

The state Canvassing Board meets Tuesday to certify other results and order the recounts.

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