(CNN) – Republican Tom Emmer conceded defeat in the Minnesota governor's race Wednesday to former Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton, bringing to a close the last yet-to-be decided gubernatorial race in the 2010 election.
"Minnesotans have made their choice, by however thin a margin, and we respect that choice," Emmer said in a press conference Wednesday.
"I do not believe a delay in the seating of the next governor will unite us or help us move the state forward," the former state Rep. added.
The concession comes after a statewide recount failed to significantly narrow the 9,000-vote divide between Emmers and Dayton. Emmers' final blow appeared to come earlier this week when the state Supreme Court foreclosed the possibility of an election lawsuit that would have delayed an official outcome for weeks.
Democrats were quick to herald the victory.
"Governor-Elect Mark Dayton will become the first Democrat in two decades to win the Minnesota governorship, and his victory is all the more impressive when you consider that he won in a tough climate," said Democratic Governors Association Chair Martin O'Malley in a statement.
The win for Democrats means Republicans will control 29 statehouses in 2011 while Democrats will hold 20. The 50th seat will be held by independent Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island.