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Published December 08, 2010, 10:40 AM

Emmer Concedes; Dayton Asks For GOP Budget Help

Minnesota Gov.-elect Mark Dayton asked the Republican-led Legislature on Wednesday for help solving the state budget crisis, hours after his opponent conceded the race.

By: Brian Bakst, Martiga Lohn, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov.-elect Mark Dayton asked the Republican-led Legislature on Wednesday for help solving the state budget crisis, hours after his opponent conceded the race.

Republican Tom Emmer had made his concession announcement earlier in the day, after it was clear that a statewide recount failed to overturn Dayton's lead of nearly 9,000 votes.

Dayton, the first Democrat to serve as Minnesota's governor in 20 years, will be sworn in Jan. 3. The Legislature convenes one day later.

The incoming governor campaigned on a promise to tax the wealthy to solve a massive budget deficit, but he will have to work with new Republican majorities who oppose that.

Dayton lost a month for making key hires and orienting himself to an executive branch that he may try to reshape as he confronts an expected $6.2 billion deficit.

While his transition team has been vetting possible commissioners, none have been formally selected and probably won't be for days. He said he aims to name a chief of staff within two days.

"No excuses," he said. "We'll be ready."

As a new governor, Dayton will have until mid-February to present a budget to the Legislature. He said he has no plans to abandon his campaign proposal for a new tax bracket on the top sliver of incomes. Republicans, who will control both chambers of the Legislature, have vowed to fight him on the tax front.

The governor-elect struck a cooperative tone in his opening news conference.

"We were all elected by the people of Minnesota to serve all the people of Minnesota," Dayton said.

It was Minnesota's second big recount in just two years. The state's 2008 Senate standoff between then-Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken took more than six months to resolve, mainly because of a lawsuit.

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