Stewart Mills dropped his effort for a recount in the 8th Congressional District race against incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan.
Nolan, DFL-Crosby, defeated the Republican challenger Mills on Nov. 8 by 2,009 votes, or 0.56 percent, just shy of an automatic recount.
Mills said earlier in the week he would request a recount at his own expense, but withdrew the effort Friday and said he would donate a portion of the money to The Salvation Army.
“After much consideration, thought, and prayer along with consulting with my family and supporters I’ve decided not to ask for a recount,” Mills said in a statement. “I send my congratulations to Congressman Nolan. We did not always agree on everything, but I respect the Congressman, and wish him the best as he moves forward representing the 8th Congressional District.”
Mills ran closely-aligned with President-elect Donald Trump, but lost several precincts Trump won, prompting the request.
Minnesota’s Secretary of State’s office said a recount would cost Mills $102,053. A margin of victory of 0.5 percent would have triggered an automatic recount paid for by the state. Mills said earlier this week he had offers to cover some of the cost, and would seek donors before paying for the rest out of pocket.
In the end, Mills said the “cost estimates of this recount in terms of volunteer time and expense was excessive.”
Nolan commended Mills’ decision to withdraw the request in a statement Friday.
“A carefully selected state audit of the results in each of the 18 counties found each of us gaining 1 vote, for a net change of zero. Given the precision and accuracy of Minnesota’s election system, it was extremely unlikely the outcome would change,” Nolan said in a statement.
Both candidates also tipped their caps to state and county election workers for their work.