Pawlenty: Specter's switch won't affect Franken vs. Colemanby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty says Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to switch parties does not put any more pressure on him to sign an election certificate in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race.
Specter's announcement that he's switching parties means Democrats will have a filibuster proof majority if Democrat Al Franken is seated in the Senate.
Several political analysts say they expect Republicans nationally to urge Norm Coleman to continue his legal fight, and also to urge Pawlenty, a Republican, to forgo signing an election certificate until Coleman's legal avenues are exhausted.
Pawlenty wouldn't say when he'd issue the certificate, except to say he'll follow the court's direction.
"We're going to follow the law with respect to the Franken/Coleman litigation and when and how a certificate gets issued," Pawlenty said. "So again, the situation with Pennsylvania has no connection or impact on what's going to happen in Minnesota."
Both campaigns issued vague statements after Specter announced his decision. Coleman's campaign said it wants every vote counted. Franken's campaign said Franken looks forward to working with both parties in the Senate.