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The winners in the U.S. Senate race are ...

Minnesota's hard-fought, contentious U.S. Senate race is over. Finally. The state will have two senators again within a few days.

Two key things happened Tuesday to make that possible.

One, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race.

Two, Norm Coleman accepted the ruling and conceded the race rather than ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case. He had every right to appeal. Instead he did what he thought was the right thing. You expect that from a public servant of Coleman's stature.

We won't address here the inadequacies of Minnesota's voting system, except to say we remain disturbed that several hundred military personnel members' votes weren't counted. There's something fundamentally wrong when the people who protect our right to vote don't get to vote themselves. State lawmakers must correct this and the other election law flaws the recount brought to light.

While there was never going to be a true winner in the U.S. Senate race -- none of the three top candidates earned a majority -- several people demonstrated their winning ways during the process.

The first is Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She commends her staff (Klobuchar gives credit where credit is due) for doing the work of two offices since Jan. 1. Clearly, Klobuchar knows how to pick quality, qualified, dedicated workers. She and they served constituents well and will continue to do so.

The rest of Minnesota's congressional delegation certainly did extra work, too. People don't differentiate between representative and senator when they need help.

We again thank Goodhue County officers for excellent work during the recount. Facing the threat of legal challenges and tremendous political pressure, they did their civic duty.

Franken succeeds a solid statesman in Coleman and joins a top-notch team of federal lawmakers. We hope he will live up to their standards, fulfill his campaign promises and demonstrate he is worthy to be Minnesota's junior senator.

If he does and if state lawmakers improve the election process, then the citizens they represent will have won.

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