It took until June 2009, but Minnesota's Senate election -- and the 2008 election as a whole -- is finally over. In a statement given at 4 p.m. EDT, former Sen. Norm Coleman conceded defeat, saying, "The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken -- I accept its decision and I will abide by its results."
Coleman also said he'd spoken with challenger Al Franken, a Democrat, and congratulated him on his win.
Update: More of what Coleman said at his press conference:
It's time for Minnesotans to come together under the leaders it has chosen and move forward. And I join all Minnesotans in congratulating our newest United States senator, Al Franken.
Just a few words about my legal challenge. Sure, I wanted to win, not just for myself, but for my wonderful supporters who have worked so hard. So many have worked so hard and prayed so hard and put so much into this effort. And for the important values that I've always fought for.
I also thought it was important to stand up for enfranchising thousands of Minnesotans whose votes weren't counted like others were. After all, issues and politicians come and go, but voting is fundamental. It is the essence of democracy. I knew we needed to do everything we could to get it right ....
I have never believed that my service is irreplaceable. We have reached the point where further litigation damages the unity of our state, which is also fundamental. In these tough times we all need to focus on the future, and the future today is that we have a new United States senator.
Asked about his own future, including the possibility that he might run in 2010 to succeed Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has decided not to seek reection, Coleman said, "I haven't made a decision yet."
Update 2: Video of Coleman's statement is below.