Minnesota Governor Picks Tina Smith to Fill Al Franken's Senate Seat

Lester Mason
December 16, 2017

She previously served as Dayton's chief of staff during his first term before being elected Lieutenant Governor in 2014, and she previously held roles at General Mills and Planned Parenthood.

"This Senate seat has a strong, abiding legacy of service and social justice that runs back to Paul Wellstone, Walter Mondale, Gene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey", Smith said. "There are so many different ways of contributing to the future of this state".

Smith was considered the frontrunner to take over Franken's senate seat, as she is one of Dayton's closest advisors and had expressed interest in running for the office. Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the state's senior senator, said in a statement to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press that Smith "has shown herself to be a capable and effective leader who has worked to improve the lives of Minnesotans". "And I listened to it all, and Tina's my selection, and I'm very confident that I've made the right decision".

"Sexual harassment is disrespectful to people, and it can't be tolerated", Smith said. "We are in the middle of a sea change of attitudes about this right now".

Smith has served as Minnesota's lieutenant governor since 2015.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has appointed Tina Smith, his lieutenant governor, to fill Al Franken's Senate seat after he steps down following allegations of sexual misconduct.


Currently, there are 21 women serving in the Senate (16 Democrats and 5 Republicans). Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, is expected to move into Smith's position.

Asked about the possible effect to the line of succession, Dayton cracked a joke.

Governor Tina Smith as the replacement to Sen. "And even at least a couple months after". "They will make this decision in a special election that will run next November.I will run and in that election and I will do my best to earn Minnesotans support", Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said. "Both were missing in the hasty call for Senator Franken's resignation".

"I respect [Franken's] work", Smith said. "I have a unique role to play here". That's what I can tell you.

In his speech, Franken noted the "irony" that he is resigning while President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE, who has been accused of sexual misconduct, remains in office.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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