Democrat Smith wins in Minnesota, will serve remainder of Franken term

Democrat Smith wins in Minnesota, will serve remainder of Franken term

Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithContractor back pay not included in shutdown deal Push to include contractor back pay in funding deal hits GOP roadblock Dems seeking path to Senate majority zero-in on Sun Belt MORE (D-Minn.) staved off a Republican upset in Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Smith defeated GOP state Sen. Karin Housley to serve out the final two years of Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenVirginia can be better than this Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors Virginia scandals pit Democrats against themselves and their message MORE’s Senate term, after he stepped down last year amid several sexual misconduct allegations.

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Smith, who was previously the lieutenant governor of Minnesota, will have to run again in 2020 for a full six-year term. She was named as Franken’s successor to the Senate seat in December, but was sworn in when the chamber returned in January.

The Minnesota Senate race leaned toward Democrats for months, with Smith holding a mid-to-high single digit lead in most polls. But a last-minute influx of support from national Democrats sparked chatter, which was seized on by Housley’s campaign, that the party was concerned that Republicans could pull off an 11th-hour surprise victory in the state.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) made a six-figure ad buy, marking its first investment in the race. The Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic outside group, also invested $400,000 in mail and digital ads.