ST. PAUL, Minnesota, November 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A recount of votes began Monday in Minnesota to determine the winner of the governor’s race, but the pro-life candidate Tom Emmer, a Republican, must make up a deficit of thousands of votes in order to pull out a victory over his pro-abortion opponent, Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) candidate Mark Dayton.

Emmer trails Dayton by approximately 8,770 votes out of more than 2 million votes cast in the election. Since the margin between the candidates is less than 0.5 percent, state election law mandates an automatic recount of the votes.

Emmer is the GOP’s pro-life, pro-family nominee, but liberal Republican Tom Horner ran an independent campaign, siphoning off critical GOP votes in a state where Republicans routed DFLers. The GOP secured both chambers of the legislature (seizing the Senate for the first time) in the mid-term electoral wave that swept many state and national Democrats out of power.

While Emmer campaigned heavily on economic issues, Horner appealed to the more liberal members of the state GOP, and diverged sharply with Emmer on social issues, such as abortion and same-sex “marriage.”

Dayton supports both same-sex “marriage” and legal abortion.

After enduring the eight-month recount process in the Norm Coleman-Al Franken race for U.S. Senate, the state is determined to wrap the recount up in a quick and orderly fashion. Recounts should be concluded by December 7, and then the State Canvassing Board will review the results and evaluate ballot challenges.

The Secretary of State plans to certify the result by December 14, although the process could end up being dragged out by further legal challenges.

Pro-life Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty will continue to remain in office until the race is finally settled and a victor declared. If the race drags out into January, it would give Republicans an opportunity to gerrymander districts to their advantage – a scenario that the DFL wants to avoid.