My Austin Post-Bulletin colleagues Kay Fate and Jim Troyer sent in a report this morning that recounts in Mower and Freeborn counties confirmed that Republican Rich Murray defeated two-term DFL Rep. Robin Brown. Here is their report:
A mandatory recount between District 27A candidates Rep. Robin Brown, DFL-Austin, and Murray, the Republican challenger, showed no change in the Nov. 2 results in Mower County. And 22 miles away in Albert Lea, Freeborn County officials found no vote changes either, giving Murray a 57-vote margin.
Freeborn County was the difference for Murray.
In Freeborn County, Murray received 6,889 votes compared to 6,474 for Brown, a difference of 415 votes. Murray trailed Brown in Mower County's tally by 358 votes.
Freeborn GOP leader Al Arends noted that the District 27 vote was close and that Brown’s strong showing in Mower County was predictable. “Mower is more Democratic,” he said. “We are more of a swing county.”
Noting that the Albert Lea High School teacher has held the seat for the past four years, Arends said, “It’s good to get it back.”
Mower's recount of the legislative race took less than two hours Monday morning. It's the third time this election season that local ballot counts have been checked — and found to be 100 percent accurate. Focus then shifted to Freeborn County where it took seven hours.