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State House candidate to pay $2,100 for a recount — in a race he lost by 44 points

Tim Utz, the Constitution Party candidate got 13 percent of the vote in the House 41B race, won by DFLer Carolyn Laine, the incumbent. He asked for the recount — and will pay for it.

Tim Utz
Tim Utz

State election officials will hold a recount Thursday in the state House 41B race, despite the fact that it wasn’t even close.

Tim Utz, the Constitution Party candidate, has asked for the recount and will pay the $2,100 cost. He came in a distant third in the race, getting 1,924 votes, or about 13 percent.

The race was won by incumbent DFL Rep. Carolyn Laine, with 57 percent; Republican Camden Pike had about 29 percent.

The recount will start at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Anoka County Courthouse in Anoka, where officials from the Secretary of State will oversee the process with election officials from Anoka, Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

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House District 41B includes the northern Minneapolis suburbs of Columbia Heights, Hilltop and St. Anthony.

I’ve left messages with Utz to find out more about his recount hopes, and will add to this if/when I hear.

 On his Facebook page, Utz notes that he’s received some contributions to help more than half the cost of the recount.

(UPDATE: Utz responded Wednesday night that five donors have chipped in to help pay the recount costs. “We had hoped to keep this process out of the media unless the recount showed a problem,” he said.)

He has run for the seat in previous elections, too.

In a pre-election roundup of the race, published Nov. 1, the Daily Kos notes:

The most interesting thing about this race seems to be Constitution Party candidate Tim Utz. Utz has this green campaign mini bus that he brings everywhere. He was the 2010 GOP candidate for this district, and the Constitution Party candidate in 2012. He is quite quixotic, but he does provide some much needed entertainment in the political world.