UNITED STATES

Democrat Al Franken wins Minnesota Senate seat

Democrat Al Franken, a well-known satirist and a former writer and actor for the popular Saturday Night Live television show, won the Senate seat from Minnesota, beating Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in a final recount.

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REUTERS - Democrat Al Franken beat Republican incumbent Norm Coleman to win the U.S. Senate seat from Minnesota, officials conducting a final recount said on Monday nearly two months after the Nov. 4 election.

The outcome found Franken beat Coleman by 225 votes out of nearly 2.9 million cast but faced a legal challenge. Coleman's aides said in advance that they would pursue a court action, claiming the recount process left out certain absentee votes and that other ballots were counted twice.

Coleman, seeking a second term, held a razor thin lead after the election over Franken, a well known satirist and a former writer and actor for the popular Saturday Night Live television show.

If the recount decision holds up Democrats will control at least 58 of the 100 Senate seats in the new U.S. Congress, with the Illinois seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama still in limbo because of the controversy over corruption charges against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

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