Senate

Franken says family will weigh heavily on decision to run again

Camille Fine

Former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said that his family will heavily factor into his decision about whether to run for office again, saying, “The question is, to what extent would that be a terrible experience for my family and for my grandchildren?”

Speaking to CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod on his “The Axe Files” podcast published last week, Franken was asked if he thought he could and should run again for a Senate seat.

“Might I do it? I’m keeping it open. Can I do it? I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I could. The reason I would want to do it is I love being able to get things done and accomplish things for people. And I did. I did a lot of that. And I thought I was good at it,” Franken said.

“The question is, to what extent would that be a terrible experience for my family and for my grandchildren. That’s something that weighs on me and weighs on my kids,” he added later. 

Franken stepped down in 2017 after a handful of women accused him of sexual misconduct. He argued at the time that he remembered some of the accusations differently from the accounts of the women while saying others were not true.

Seven former and current senators expressed regret to The New Yorker in 2019 for pushing the former Minnesota lawmaker’s resignation.

During his interview with Axelrod, Franken suggested he may not try to make a bid in 2024 noting the presidency cycle. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) current term ends in 2025, and Sen. Tina Smith’s (D-Minn.) ends in 2027.

“Some people ask me like, you know, ‘24, I could run in New York in ‘24. I’m not going to do that,” said Franken, who lives in the state now. 

“You know, we’re gonna have to be using so many resources to elect — reelect President Biden or whoever we’re running, I hope it’s Biden. And we’re just going to — all these races are going to be up. We can’t spare those resources. But maybe somewhere else,” he added.

–Updated on May 12 at 12:42 p.m.

Tags Al Franken Al Franken David Axelrod New York Senate

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