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Brad Swenson, Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer, Published June 29 2009

Nevis hamming it up for Senate race

If the Minnesota town of Nevis had any say in the outcome of the state’s long-running U.S. Senate race, the winner would have to bring home the bacon.

On July 5, Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken will see their battle “decided” by surrogates – pigs – in a race to the finish.

The “pork barrel race” to hypothetically end the Coleman/Franken election is part of Nevis’ Fourth of July festivities that includes the inaugural Nevis Pig Races, says Dave McCurnin of the Nevis Chamber & Commerce Association.

“For a small fraction of the $50 million spent by the candidates so far, each will get his name on the back of a piglet,” McCurnin said Tuesday. “Whichever of these cute babies gets to the finish first will drop the curtain on this never-ending and much wrung-out election.”

Coleman and Franken are awaiting the decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court in Coleman’s appeal asking that some 4,000 absentee ballots be counted. At this point, Franken has the lead – 312 votes of nearly 3 million votes cast.

The Nevis Pig Races start at 4:05 p.m. in downtown Nevis and will feature nine five-piglet races, including the Coleman/Franken piglet race, set to begin at 5:31 p.m.

The Bemidji Pioneer and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.