Former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) was sworn in on Wednesday to fill the Senate seat vacated by former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMeet the Democrats' last best hope of preserving a House majority Franken rules out challenge against Gillibrand for Senate seat Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour MORE (D).
Vice President Pence administered the oath to Smith from the Senate floor, with former Vice President Walter Mondale, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharOn The Money — Fed's inflation tracker at fastest pace since '82 Hillicon Valley — Presented by Cisco — Apps urge senators to advance antitrust bill App company CEOs urge senators to back antitrust bill MORE (D-Minn.) and Senate Democratic leadership looking on from the chamber.
Pence and Smith took part in a mock swearing-in from the old Senate chamber.
The Senate also swore in Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who won last month’s special election to fill Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE’s old seat.
“I’d like to extend a particular welcome to our two new senators who were just sworn in,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Actor John Krasinski films outside White House Biden's Supreme Court choice: A political promise, but also a matter of justice Let's 'reimagine' political corruption MORE (R-Ky.) said later from the Senate floor.
Smith was appointed to the Minnesota seat last month after Franken said he would resign following several allegations of sexual harassment and groping.
Franken announced during a defiant Dec. 7 floor speech that he would step down after pressure grew for him to resign over the accusations. He formally submitted his letter to Democratic Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday.
“I am grateful to Minnesotans for giving me the chance to serve our state and our nation, and I am proud to have worked on their behalf,” Franken wrote in the resignation letter.
Franken’s resignation sparks a special election set for 2018 for the final two years of his Senate term.
Smith, who some observers had speculated would be a caretaker, had said she plans to run in the 2018 election.
A second election will take place in 2020 for a full six-year term.
Dayton announced that he was selecting Smith last month, marking the first time Minnesota has been represented by two female senators.
Smith, who served as Minnesota’s lieutenant governor for roughly three years, brings the total number of female senators in the Senate up to 22 — a record for the upper chamber.
Four states — Minnesota, California, New Hampshire and Washington — now have two female senators.