After a protracted recount, comedian-turned-politician Al Franken has won the Minnesota Senate race to give Democrats a 60-seat majority in the U.S. Senate.
The state's Supreme Court declared Franken, a Saturday Night Live alum, the winner on Tuesday by 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast. Republican incumbent Norm Coleman then conceded the drawn-out fight.
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Coleman led Franken on Election Day, but a recount was required because the margin of victory was less than 0.5 percent. Franken won the recount in January, but appeals delayed the results for another six months. "When you win an election by this close a margin, you know not one bit of effort went to waste," Franken said Wednesday.Franken could be sworn in as early as next week, when the Senate returns from a recess. The Democrats' 60-seat Senate majority is the magic number needed for the party to overcome Republican filibusters.
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One of SNL
's original writers, Franken earned three writing Emmys for his work and also found success in front of the camera in the late-night show's sketches. He left the show in 1995 and moved into politics with a series of books lampooning Rush Limbaugh. Franken hosted Air America Radio for three years before leaving in 2007 to focus on his Senate campaign.