After losing to Rick Nolan in the 8th Congressional District election by a slender margin, Stewart Mills is asking for a recount.
The Republican candidate, who lost the fourth-most expensive House race in the country to Rep. Nolan by 50.17 percent of the vote to 49.61, confirmed his intention to seek a recount on Monday.
The result was too close, he told the Pioneer Press, to just "let it go" and he's expected to request a hand recount of all votes in the 8th District on Tuesday. Because he was more than 0.25 percent behind Nolan, he'll have to pay for the recount himself rather than the state footing the bill – and said he hopes it costs less than six figures.
In a statement to the newspaper, Rep. Nolan's campaign manager Joe Radinovich said "We expect there will be no change in the outcome." He criticized Mills' decision to request a recount, saying he is calling into question a Minnesota election system "administered through the volunteers of election judges from both parties."
Speaking to the Star Tribune, Mills said he's not alleging voter fraud or that the numbers were necessarily wrong, "but there's enough questions that need to be answered that can only be answered by a hand recount."
The newspaper notes Minnesota had recounts in 2008 in the U.S. Senate contest between Sen. Al Franken and GOP candidate Norm Coleman, and the 2010 gubernatorial race between Gov. Mark Dayton and Rep. Tom Emmer – but in both cases the gap was small enough to trigger an automatic recount.
So is there any chance it will change the result of the election?
Not likely, according to FiveThirtyEight, which – citing Fairvote – reported that out of 4,687 statewide general elections held nationally between 2000 and 2015, just 27 of these were followed by recounts. Of these, only three were successful in changing the result.
But one of the successful recounts was in Minnesota, the race involving Sen. Franken mentioned above, who was 215 votes behind Coleman before the recount swung the result in his favor.