Minnesota Democrat Mark Dayton attended the Democratic Governors Association meeting in Washington on Wednesday despite his race against Republican Tom Emmer embroiled in an ongoing recount.

"We don't believe in boring, conventional elections in Minnesota anymore," Dayton said, with tongue in cheek, at a lunch hosted by the DGA. "We want recounts and drama."

Dayton noted he's currently ahead of Emmer by some 9,000 votes, with about two thirds of ballots having been recounted.

"I'm very optimistic," he said.

Dayton, who previously served a term in the Senate, thanked the DGA for its help.

"We had a late primary in our state and if it hadn't been for the DGA getting involved … I wouldn't have had the chance to prevail," he said.

Dayton noted that one of the advocacy groups the DGA started in Minnesota, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, was run by his former wife, Alida Messinger.

Dayton said he and Messinger were "friends now" and asked her, "Did you ever imagine you'd be spending these two years of your life doing all this to elect your ex-husband governor of Minnesota?"

DGA executive director Nathan Daschle said he was confident Dayton would prevail and pledged to continue supporting his recount effort.

"We're contributed to the effort. We're going to continue to contribute to the effort financially, legally and every other possible way to make sure that he's sworn in as the next governor of Minnesota," he said.