MINNESOTA | MN-sen

Franken to Resign From Senate

Dayton will appoint a temporary replacement.

Kimberly Railey
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Kimberly Railey
Dec. 7, 2017, 11:59 a.m.

Sen. Al Franken (D) announced Thursday that he is resigning in the "coming weeks," amid a series of sexual harassment allegations he is facing.

"This decision is not about me—it's about the people of Minnesota," Franken said in a Senate floor speech. "I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice."

Franken added that Minnesota deserves a senator who can serve the state's needs with all "her" energy.

Also in his speech, Franken said he was "shocked" and "upset" when the allegations against him were revealed, maintaining that some are "simply not true."

"Others I remember very differently," he said.

NEXT STEPS. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) is viewed as Gov. Mark Dayton’s (D) likely choice to replace Franken.

“Under that scenario, Smith would serve as a temporary replacement who would not run for the seat in a November 2018 special election.”

“If he taps Smith as a caretaker senator, Dayton would be giving the job to someone who apparently has no further political ambitions. … Dayton is being widely advised to select a woman, given the circumstances of Franken’s departure.”

Potential Democratic candidates include Reps. Keith Ellison (D-05), Betty McCollum (D-04), and Rick Nolan (D-08), as well as state Rep. Ilhan Omar (D). “Several current candidates for governor might also reconsider and run for Franken’s seat, including” Rep. Tim Walz (D-01) or St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D). Attorney General Lori Swanson (D), also widely believed to be considering a run for governor, could run for the Senate instead.”

On the GOP side, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R), whom Franken narrowly defeated in 2008, could run. Reps. Tom Emmer (R-06) and Erik Paulsen (R-03) are other possibilities, as are state Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) and state House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R). (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Other names to watch on the Republican side include former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-06) and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R). (CNN)

State Rep. Jim Newberger (R), who is currently challenging Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D), could also hop over to the race. And 2016 MN-08 nominee Stewart Mills (R) said he would "more than kick the tires" on a Senate bid if Franken steps down. (The Hill)

BEHIND THE SCENES. On Wednesday evening, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Franken to resign.

“Mr. Schumer quietly worked through the day to urge Mr. Franken to step aside. According to a person familiar with the conversations, Mr. Schumer called Mr. Franken before any of his fellow senators went public with their resignation calls and later met with Mr. Franken and his wife in Mr. Schumer’s Washington apartment.” (New York Times)

“Some of the senators said that they decided to act Wednesday morning after Politico reported that a former Democratic congressional aide alleged that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, before he became senator.”

“I think it’s just been building,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said. “I think having another woman come forward just emphasizes how serious this is.” (National Journal)

What We're Following See More »
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS WITH REPORTER
Former Senate Intelligence Committee Staffer Pleads Guilty To Lying To FBI
38 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Former veteran Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James Wolfe pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of making false statements to federal agents." Wolfe was indicted "earlier this year on three counts of making false statements to the FBI, which questioned him about his contacts with reporters ... According to the indictment, in October 2017 Wolfe gave a reporter ... information about an unidentified man who had been served with a subpoena to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The reporter published stories about the subpoena and the man's upcoming testimony in a closed committee hearing."

Source:
3.9% OF GDP
Deficit Soared to $779 Billion, Up 17%
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The federal deficit widened last year amid higher government spending—including rising interest costs on the debt and increased funding for the military—and flat revenues following last year’s tax cut. The government ran a $779 billion deficit in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the Treasury Department said Monday. That is the largest annual deficit in six years and 17% higher than the $666 billion deficit in fiscal 2017. As a share of gross domestic product, the deficit totaled 3.9%, up from 3.5% a year earlier and the third consecutive increase."

Source:
INTERROGATION GONE WRONG
Report: Saudis Planning to Admit to Khashoggi Killing
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
TV ADS WOULD BE AFFECTED
Administration May Require Drug Companies to Disclose Prices
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS
SINCE AGREEING TO DESTROY ITS STOCKPILES
Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons More than 100 Times
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The BBC has determined there is enough evidence to be confident that at least 106 chemical attacks have taken place in Syria since September 2013, when the president signed the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and agreed to destroy the country's chemical weapons stockpile."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login