Decision 2010: Blog from Dayton headquarters - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Decision 2010: Blog from Dayton headquarters

MINNEAPOLIS (KTTC) -- NewsCenter reporter, Chris Conte, is covering the events at Mark Dayton's election night headquarters. Dayton supporters are gathering at the Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis, while waiting for the results in the governor's race. Read Chris' updates below:

***2:04 a.m.: Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Mark Dayton finally addressed the crowd here at DFL headquarters in Minneapolis. He did not declare victory or defeat but told his supporters that he is "Cautiously optimistic (about a win),"  and that, "It's the nature of these things to go on in this manner." At this point in the early morning hours the race is still too close to call. A Dayton spokesperson says he will not be making anymore announcements until later on Wednesday morning and his sleep-deprived supporters are now leaving the ballroom for the evening.

***1:35 a.m.: Still no sign of Dayton, he is reportedly here at the Minneapolis Hilton watching election results trickle in but won't speak publicly until we have some concrete results which might not be for a while. Some supporters are sleeping on the floor of the ballroom now while a large majority have gone home. Even a few news crews have decided to pack up and see what happens in the morning. Dare I utter the words "Too close to call?"... we shall see.

***12:24 a.m.: Well, it appears we have another good ol' fashioned Minnesota political race on our hands. After having a commanding lead over Republican candidate Tom Emmer all evening, Mark Dayton has lost some ground as election day has now come and gone. The Secretary of State's office is unofficially reporting that with 50% of precincts in, Dayton's lead has now fallen to 44% while Tom Emmer sits at 41% - a little more than 40,000 votes separate the two.

***11:38 p.m.: Senator Amy Klobachar just told the crowd here that "Democrats have kept control of the U.S. Senate," an announcement that erupted the crowd into cheers. She also said, "We will nave have to work with some new Republicans we aren't used to standing next to, to get things done for the betterment of this country," in reference to Republicans gaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Mark Dayton is expected to arrive shortly.

*** 11:05p.m.: With 43% of precincts reporting Mark Dayton is still in the lead for the Minnesota Governor's office, Dayton currently has 47% of the vote while Emmer now sits at 39%. In Minnetonka around 10:30p.m. this evening Independence Party Candidate Tom Horner conceded the governor's race, meaning it is now just Dayton and Emmer vying for the position. Hundreds of Dayton supporters have now gathered in the ballroom of the Minneapolis Hilton waiting for him to arrive.

***10:20 p.m.: With 33% of precincts reporting Mark Dayton has taken a commanding lead over Republican candidate Tom Emmer although the results are very preliminary at this point. Dayton so far has about 47% of the vote while Emmer has 38%, a few minutes ago DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez says he's "Cautiously optimistic Minnesota will buck the national trend," of having Republicans regain a majority of power.

***9:19 p.m.: A few hundred people have now gathered at the Minneapolis Hilton, DFL party chair Brian Melendez says his part will buck the national trend in Minnesota by keeping a majority of Democrats in power. Dayton still has not showed up but is said to be watching results come in with his family at their home. Chris Coleman, the Mayor of St. Paul is currently addressing the crowd saying "We're ready to celebrate a democratic victory in the state of Minnesota."

***7:40 p.m.: Dayton supporters are starting to trickle into the Minneapolis Hilton although very slowly. Speaker Kelliher and Senator Franken are expected to arrive sometime in the next few hours. No word on when Dayton will be arriving at the Hilton.

***5:11 p.m.: All is quiet up here at Mark Dayton's election headquarters, right now it's just members of the media in the ballroom doing live reports for the 5 o'clock newscasts. Dayton's aides say he won't address the crowd that expected to gather here until at least 10p.m. - even if results are in before then. Dayton spent the day with his family after voting earlier this morning and bringing his dog to the vet which is being treated for cancer. The former U.S. Senator is hoping to become the first DFLer to be governor of Minnesota since Rudy Perpich left office back in 1991.

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