With Franken's Resignation, Smith Will Join Senate

January 03, 2018 07:01 AM

Al Franken's replacement in the U.S. Senate is ready to take office.

Tina Smith is set to be sworn in during a Wednesday morning ceremony at the Capitol. Smith was Minnesota's lieutenant governor and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's choice to take Franken's seat.

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Franken announced his plan to resign last month after a swirl of sexual misconduct allegations. His resignation was official Tuesday.

RELATED: Franken Makes Resignation Official in Letter to Dayton

Smith is a longtime Democratic political operative who served as Dayton's top aide before joining him on the ticket in 2014. She also worked as a vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

"She is very equipped to do this job, simply because she has represented the whole state for four years," Sen. Amy Klobuchar said. "She's gone everywhere and she's able to understand these issues."

Smith's resignation as lieutenant governor took effect at midnight Tuesday. She plans to run for the Senate seat in a November special election to finish Franken's term.

During the next 11 months, Smith will be busy balancing her duties representing the state and campaigning.

There has also been a lot of speculation as to who will challenge her.

Michele Bachmann is just the latest to hint at a possible run for the Senate seat.

The former U.S. congresswoman told televangelist Jim Bakker she's considering it, despite a toxic political climate.

RELATED: GOP's Bachmann Mulling Bid for Franken's Senate Seat

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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