Former Minnesota Senator, Al Franken, resigned effective immediately from his post. On Wednesday, Tina Smith will become the state’s new senator and mark a dramatic end to a political career for Franken.
The resignation came as a result of a series of sexual allegations by more than a half-dozen women who claimed that Franken had touched or kissed them without their consent.
“Franken initially tried to weather the ensuing controversy, but decided to step down after several dozen of his fellow Democratic senators demanded he do so before an ethics investigation played out.”
After Franken’s resignation, the state had also lost a lieutenant governor. However, this post was occupied by Smith. The post will now be filled by Republican Michelle Fischbach and will tip the balance since Minnesota has a Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton.
“Whether the brief drama will result in a restoration of the natural order is open to interpretation. Fischbach is a Republican, Gov. Mark Dayton is a Democrat, and Wednesday will mark the first time the state’s executive branch has been thusly split. In addition, that ‘state senator’ part of Fischbach’s title will be contested.”
The resignation letter contained three sentences, according to the Pioneer Press. In addition, the last part of the resignation letter contained the following.
“Serving the State of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate has been a privilege and honor. I am grateful to Minnesotans for giving me the chance to serve our state and our nation, and I am proud to have worked on their behalf.”
Al Franken marks his last day as a U.S. senator after resigning amid sexual misconduct accusations. His replacement, Minnesota Lieutenant Gov. Tina Smith, is expected to be sworn-in on Wednesday. https://t.co/E7GcN6kpY2 pic.twitter.com/YNZkKw0f3K— ABC News (@ABC) January 2, 2018
Franken, who was the former comedian from Saturday Night Live, was considered a progressive Democrat. Also, as stated by the New York Times, the Democratic hero was being mentioned as a presidential candidate. It is worth mentioning that when he ran for the Senate, he barely won the senate race against Republican Norm Coleman.
Sen. Al Franken’s letter of resignation to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton.— Jennifer Brooks (@stribrooks) January 2, 2018
Franken resigned at noon today, Minnesota time. pic.twitter.com/L2ziNolEZG
With the midterm elections in the fall, the doors are open for new faces for the position in Minnesota. As reported by the daily newspaper, the Star Tribune, Michele Bachmann, is considering to run for the U.S Senate seat vacated by Franken.
“I’ve had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat. The only reason I would run is for the ability to take these principles into the United States Senate, to be able to advocate for these principles,” Bachmann said, referring to the Christian conservatism that defined her political style.
Bachmann is a Republican and a former member of the United States House of Representatives. She served in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district from 2007 to 2015.
The resignation by Franken from his Senate seat could be a setback for the Democratic Party in the fall. Finally, it is quite possible given the ramifications of sexual misconduct that Democrats face a mounting challenge to reclaim the post in the midterm elections.