Last week, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) announced he will resign in the coming weeks after facing numerous sexual misconduct allegations.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) has appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) to take over Franken’s seat whenever the senator does decide to step down.

Smith will finish Franken’s term, which will end in 2020. From Fox News:

Dayton was under pressure from Washington Democrats to appoint a replacement who would run in 2018.

The 59-year-old Smith is a former General Mills executive who in the 1990 started her own marketing and political consulting firm. She eventually managed Walter Mondale’s unsuccessful 2002 Senate run and Mondale’s son Ted Mondale’s failed 1998 bid for governor.

She also served in the early 2000s as a vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Smith later served as chief of staff to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak before taking the same job with Dayton.

The special election for Franken’s seat is expected to be expensive race and hotly contested race for a swing seat.

Franken still hasn’t set a date for his resignation. Smith plans “to run to complete Franken’s term through 2020.”

On the day Franken made his announcement, Richard Painter, the vice president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-wing watchdog group, urged Dayton to wait to make the appointment until after the Alabama special senate election. That took place on Tuesday and Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore.

During the campaign, Moore faced accusations from numerous females of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Painter said that if Moore won that meant Alabama chose “to drastically lower the bar” and Franken could stay.

Also, if Moore won, the GOP would keep its two seat majority in the Senate. Franken, one of the most outspoken Democrats, could have changed his mind if Moore won, even though we know that Dayton would have picked a Democrat.

But Moore lost and the GOP’s majority is now only by one seat and the Democrats don’t really need Franken anymore.


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