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Reid: Coleman Conceding "Would Be The Right Step"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) acknowledged today that two seats in his chamber remained unfilled and called for Norm Coleman to concede the Minnesota Senate race, CBS News' John Nolen reports. Coleman's opponant, Democrat Al Franken, was yesterday certified the winner of the Senate recount, but Coleman can challenge the result in court.

(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
"Seats are vacant," Reid said on the Senate floor before describing the unique circumstances in Illinois and Minnesota.

"This is a difficult time for Former Senator Coleman and his family, and I acknowledge that and he's entitled the opportunity to proceed however he feels appropriate , Senator Reid said. "But, for someone who has been in the trenches on a number of these elections, graciously conceding, like his friend John Ensign did, would be the right step."

Senator John Ensign faced a similar situation in his 1998 Senate race against Harry Reid. Ensign eventually conceded the race without court interference.

The Senate leader said that Franken was the winner of the hotly contested Minnesota senate race.

"This can't drag on forever," he said. "I understand that. I hope that former senator Coleman and all our Republican colleagues will choose to respect the will of the people of Minnesota. they have chosen a new senator, Al Franken, and his term must begin and will begin soon."

Reid also said that Roland Burris, embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich's (D-IL) pick to replace President-elect Obama, "is not in possession of the necessary credentials from the state of Illinois" to be sworn into the Senate.

"A court case in Illinois is pending to determine if Secretary of State Jesse White is obligated to sign the certification," he said. "We're waiting that court decision."

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