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Horner ponders his future

Tom Horner took a bigger risk than most when he embarked on his run for governor of Minnesota. The former Republican pundit and strategist turned Independence Party candidate alienated many of his old political allies when he switched party affiliation to challenge to GOP candidate Tom Emmer and DFLer Mark Dayton.

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Horner: GOP ban shows party polarization

Tom Horner alienated many of his old political allies in the Republican Party when he switched to the Independence Party to run for the governor's office. His estrangement from the Republican Party was made even clearer over the weekend, when GOP delegates voted for a ban on 18 high-profile Republicans who supported him. Horner says move reflects a party that is polarized and extreme.

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MN GOP bans 18 Republicans who supported Horner

On a 59 to 55 vote, delegates at the Republican Party State Central Committee Saturday approved a 2-year party ban on 18 prominent Republicans who publicly supported Horner in the election. The vote stops the Republicans from being delegates or attending the Republican National Convention.

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Prelude to a recount

Mark Dayton became the first DFL governor-elect in 24 years under the unlikeliest of circumstances on Tuesday night, beating Republican Tom Emmer by a final margin of fewer than 10,000 votes out of more than 2 million cast. The exceedingly slim margin - less than half of one percent - will trigger an automatic recount.

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Tribal PACs give nearly $1.2 million in 2010 election

The 2010 Minnesota election is one that will undeniably be marked by the influence of third-party groups, which have put millions of dollars - some more than any of the governor candidates - to influence the outcome. In addition to the more than $5 million funneled into DFL candidate coffers via labor-backed group Alliance for a Better Minnesota, tribal political action committees have put nearly $1.2 million into mostly DFL hands so far this year.

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Closing ads aim for middle ground

In many ways, the closing statements being made via 30-second TV spot in the race for governor echo the tone of the whole campaign since around Labor Day. Ahead of Tuesday's vote, the campaigns of Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton are doubling down on their respective messages - and seeking to convince skeptics that each is a swell guy to boot.

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