- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday that Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will replace Sen. Al Franken in the Senate.

Ms. Smith will serve just over a year until a successor is elected in the 2018 special election. Whoever wins in 2018 will also run for re-election in 2020 when Mr. Franken was due to run again.

Mr. Franken, Minnesota Democrat, announced his intention to step down last week after increasing claims of sexual harassment and misconduct. The senator did not mention when specifically he planned to resign from his duties as a senator.

Ms. Smith, 59, previously served as Mr. Dayton’s chief of staff before taking on her current role in 2015. She decided earlier this year that she would not run for the governorship after Mr. Dayton’s term ends in 2019. He has already announced he will not seek another term.

“There is no one I trust more to assume the responsibilities of this important office. I know that she will be a superb senator, representing the best interests of our state and our citizens,” Mr. Dayton, Minnesota Democrat, said in a statement.

“Though I never anticipated this moment, I am resolved to do everything I can to move Minnesota forward,” Ms. Smith said to reporters.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, tweeted: “Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has worked tirelessly for MN & with her experience she will hit the ground running. Minnesotans know that Tina will fight for them, and I look forward to working with her to get things done for our state.”

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