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Norm Coleman says he’d have beaten Franken in 2008 if groping photo had been public

Al Franken, left, and Norm Coleman in 2008. (Pioneer Press archives)

Former U.S. Sen. and St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman said he would have beaten Al Franken in the hotly contested 2008 Senate race if a photo of Franken appearing to grope a sleeping woman had come out.

Following a statewide recount and court battle, Franken won the election by 312 votes, unseating Coleman.

“You’ve got to believe that photo is worth more than 312 votes,” Coleman said in comments first reported by TalkingPointsMemo.

Coleman said he wasn’t seeking publicity on the matter, but noted he was contacted by reporters asking for his thoughts.

“I don’t want this to be about me versus Al Franken,” he told the Pioneer Press. “We’re not going to re-do the 2008 election.” He said he didn’t want it to sound like “sour grapes.”

On Thursday, a radio host and TV anchor came forward with allegations that Franken had “forcibly kissed” her and groped her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour to entertain American soldiers.

She supplied a photo.

The Pioneer Press was unable to reach Coleman, who holds a position with the Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., firm Hogan Lovells, for comment.

Franken was re-elected to a six-year term in 2014.