Response to Smith's Appointment to Senate Seat

Response to Smith's Appointment to Senate Seat Photo: courtesy of the Office of Gov. Mark Dayton & Lt. Gov. Tina Smith

December 13, 2017 01:17 PM

Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton announced Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Al Franken.

RELATED: Dayton Selects Smith to Fill Franken's Senate Seat


Here is what various political leaders are saying about the appointment:

Franken released the following statement on the appointment:

Tina Smith will make an excellent United States Senator. She is a dedicated public servant who's worked tirelessly on behalf of Minnesotans, and Governor Dayton couldn't have made a better choice for this job. Her record of accomplishment as Lieutenant Governor demonstrates that she'll be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota. I look forward to working with her on ensuring a speedy and seamless transition.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar stated:

During her years of experience serving our state, Lieutenant Governor Smith has shown herself to be a capable and effective leader who has worked to improve the lives of Minnesotans. She is well-qualified to step into this role and will be ready to hit the ground running.

We have a lot to get done over the next year -- from strengthening our infrastructure to reducing the high cost of prescription drugs to ensuring our workers have the skills they need to get good jobs -- and I look forward to working with Lieutenant Governor Smith on these critical issues.

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan released the following statement in response:

Today, Governor Dayton announced a powerful and important decision on behalf of all of us in Minnesota.  Instead of nominating a leader who can effectively represent all Minnesotans, Governor Dayton chose to play politics with Senator Franken's replacement. It's an underhanded 'House of Cards' style move.  This is clearly an attempt to throw the Republican majority in the Minnesota Senate out of balance. This decision will ripple through the next legislative session. This move is as transparent as it is political.  

Tina Flint-Smith heads into office with all of the political baggage of the Dayton administration. The ongoing MNsure debacle, the expensive Senate office building, and a well-established track record of far-left policies. Minnesota Republicans look forward to electing a Republican to the U.S. Senate in 2018.

House DFL Leader Melissa Hortman released the following statement:

Tina Smith has been a champion for all Minnesotans. Minnesota will be well-served by having Tina working for us in Washington, D.C. She is a strong advocate for hardworking families and for women in particular. As our Senator, I'm confident she will continue her work to improve the lives of Minnesotans, and that she will work to create a nation that works better for everyone.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) stated:

Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith is an outstanding choice to be Minnesota's next United States Senator. I have worked with Tina for years — she is a good friend, an incredibly hard worker, and a woman who is totally committed to our state.

Tina will be a fierce advocate for families, work for good jobs, and fight to protect health care for all Minnesotans. I look forward to working with her in Congress to continue building a country where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and succeed.

St. Paul Mayor-elect Melvin Carter stated:

As the Governor and Lt. Governor's Children's Cabinet director, I was constantly impressed by Tina Smith's commitment to Minnesota kids and families. I am proud to call her a mentor and a friend, and I appreciate the support and opportunity she has provided me.

Tina fought hard for early education, workers' rights, and health care access as Lt. Governor. I look forward to the incredible work she will do as our US Senator.

Leaders of several organizations also released statements in response to the appointment.

Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, released the following statement:

Governor Dayton made the right call appointing Tina Smith to this seat. We had hoped he would appoint a qualified Minnesota woman and this choice does not disappoint. I've known Tina for years — and I can tell you she's just the kind of leader and fighter Minnesota families deserve to have representing them in the Senate.

Tina's experience in Minnesota — from her work protecting women's access to care as a vice president of Planned Parenthood Minnesota and the Dakotas, to her success creating jobs, strengthening the economy, and expanding access to early education while serving as lieutenant governor in the state — immensely qualifies her for this role and I know she will join the 15 EMILY's List women currently serving in the Senate as a strong voice and a leader in our fight.

TakeAction Minnesota released the following statement:

We need elected officials in Washington who will fight for regular Minnesotans - and our democracy. Tina Smith is a leader who has worked tirelessly for the public good in Minnesota. As alarming legislation is rammed through Congress, she will bring a needed voice to the U.S. Senate. We congratulate her.


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