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Emmer concedes

DELANO, Minn. -- Tom Emmer left the Minnesota governor's race at home, surrounded by family and leaving open the option of running for office again.

Emmer stood outside his Delano home in a sport coat, without gloves, this morning and said he would not take the election to court, adding that everyone needs to support Democrat Mark Dayton as he prepared to take office Jan. 3.

He was upbeat and frequently laughed as he read a statement and answered reporters' questions.

"There is no crying in politics," Emmer said.

Emmer said that he was proud of his campaign, and as a conservative came within 8,700 votes in a race few thought would be that close.

As his wife, Jacquie, and daughter, Katie, stood by his side -- and shed an occasional tear -- Emmer thanked his family and supporters for their 17 months of work on his campaign.

A dozen television cameras and twice that many reporters crowded into Emmer's front yard in near-zero weather this morning awaiting his announcement. Dayton planned a Capitol news conference this afternoon.

Emmer called the campaign "the best experience" of his life.

"We can be proud of what we accomplished," he said.

Emmer said that others still could challenge the election in court, but he would not. "I will not be involved."

Instead, he said that he may take Dayton up on his offer for lunch in the next few days.

"It is our job to make sure he can be the best possible governor he can be," Emmer said.

With Dayton leading the race by 8,720 votes following a statewide hand recount, Emmer already knew he could not win that way. But on Tuesday it became apparent he would have a difficult time winning an election lawsuit after the Minnesota Supreme Court released the reasoning behind a November ruling that went against Emmer. It all but eliminated grounds for an Emmer court challenge.