Minnesota Republican enters special election race to replace Franken

Minnesota Republican enters special election race to replace Franken
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Minnesota state Sen. Karin Housley (R) launched a bid for Senate on Tuesday, making her the first Republican to enter the special election race to replace Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' Andrew Cuomo and the death of shame MORE (D), who is expected to resign in the coming weeks.

In a video posted on her Twitter account, Housley played up her deep roots in the state as the daughter of Minnesota school teachers.

She said she’d fight to protect veterans, senior citizens and “the unborn.” Housley, who owns a local real estate company, said she’d be an advocate for small businesses. 

“I’m Karin Housley and I’m running for U.S. Senate,” she says in the launch video. “You might be asking yourself — why would anyone want to go to Washington right now and be part of that dysfunction they call Congress? Actually, I can’t think of any place in this country more in need of someone like me right now.”

Franken has said he will resign after his Democratic colleagues in the Senate pressured him to step aside amid a growing list of sexual harassment allegations against him.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) has tapped Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) to fill the spot on an interim basis. Franken is expected to officially vacate the seat in January.

Smith has said she will run in the November 2018 special election to complete the remaining two years of Franken’s term.

Housley is so far the only Republican challenger, although former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) is believed to be mulling a bid.