Minnesota governor to name lieutenant governor to Franken’s seat: report
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) is likely to tap Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) to replace Sen. Al Franken (D), who resigned on Thursday, according to a report in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The newspaper cited a “high-ranking Democratic source.” The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Franken announced his resignation just before noon in a speech on the Senate floor.
He said he would be resigning in the next few weeks during a speech in which he said some of the accusations of sexual misconduct lodged against him were not true, while others he remembered differently.
In a statement released after Franken’s decision, Dayton said no decision had been made on his replacement.
“I expect to make and announce my decision in the next couple of days,” he said.
More than 30 Democratic senators, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), called for Franken’s resignation on Thursday.
Franken has been facing accusations of sexual misconduct since mid-November, when radio host Leeann Tweeden said he forcibly kissed her during a rehearsal for a skit on a USO tour. She also shared a photo that showed Franken mockingly groping her breasts as she slept on a military plane.
Since then, multiple women have come forward to say Franken groped them during photo ops and at other events.
An appointee replacing Franken would serve until a special election next November, when voters would decide who serves the remaining two years of Franken’s term.
Minnesota’s other senator, Amy Klobuchar (D), is up for reelection in 2018.
This story was updated at 12:47 p.m.
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