Minnesota Taps Replacement for Franken in Senate

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Franken, who resigned under pressure from his own party after he was accused of improper behavior by at least eight women, announced last Thursday that he would resign "in the coming weeks".

Republicans now control the state Senate by a single vote, and in theory, Fischbach's seat would need to be filled in a special election. She was previously Dayton's chief of staff, chief of staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and worked for Planned Parenthood and General Mills.

Smith on Wednesday said she's spoken with Franken and his staff, and expects he will officially step down some time in early January.

"I think at that point, Franken will renege on his promise, using Moore's election as his excuse Franken can then play the role of hero", conservative talk radio host Lars Larson wrote last week.

She said Franken "has been a champion" for Minnesota, adding that "he will continue to work" for the state and country. "Though I never anticipated this moment, I am resolved to do anything I can to move Minnesota forward". Mark Dayton on Wednesday named Smith to replace Al Franken in the U.S. Senate.

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Smith was widely viewed as Dayton's preference to fill the seat. She has spent most of her career in marketing and behind the scenes in politics.

Writing in The New York Times on Tuesday, she said due process was missing from the "hasty call" for Franken's resignation over allegations of groping and other sexual misconduct.

"Anybody who knows the voters of Minnesota knows that they can't be told what to do", Ms. Smith said. Minnesota's succession plan calls for the state Senate president to become lieutenant governor, so if Smith moves to the U.S. Senate, state Sen.

Smith is a New Mexico native and received degrees from Stanford University and Dartmouth College.

Among politicians being courted by many in the GOP is former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who although saying he is "politically retired" has sounded much like a candidate in a series of Minnesota speeches, on social media and on some national interview shows. Paul Wellstone after he died in an airplane crash days before the election.