GOP Has Plans For Franken's Seat
Matt Demczyk | Dec 7, 2017 AT 2:17 pm
(AP) - Minnesota Republicans are reaching out to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty about running in a race to replace Sen. Al Franken, who is resigning after accusations by several women of sexual misconduct.
That sets up a November 2018 election to serve the final two years of his term.
Republicans have also identified former Sen. Norm Coleman as a possible candidate.
Here's a sampling of reaction to Franken's announcement Thursday that he will resign:
Gov. Mark Dayton, D-Minn. - "I extend my deepest regrets to the women, who have had to endure their unwanted experiences with Senator Franken. As a personal friend, my heart also goes out to Al and his family during this difficult time. In other respects, Al Franken has been an outstanding Senator. He has been, as Senator Paul Wellstone used to say, 'A Senator from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.' He is very smart, very hard-working, and very committed to Minnesota."
Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, D-Minn. - "On this difficult day, I am holding Senator Franken, his family, and those who have worked beside him over the last decade to make this country a better place, in my thoughts. I also am thinking today about the many women around the country who have come forward in recent months to share their stories about sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can never be tolerated in our politics, our businesses, or anywhere else."
Sen. Any Klobuchar, D-Minn. - "In every workplace in America, including the U.S. Senate, we must confront the challenges of harassment and misconduct. Nothing is easy or pleasant about this, but we all must recognize that our workplace cultures - and the way we treat each other as human beings - must change."
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn. - "Senator Al Franken has been more than a colleague - he has been a friend and an ally on the issues that are most important to Minnesota families. Al's voice and vote were instrumental in extending health care to millions of Americans, helping our students succeed, and upholding our commitments to tribal nations."
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. and vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee - "Sen. Franken's decision to resign shows a strength of character that other elected officials haven't."
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn. - "The behavior described in these continued allegations is out of line and unacceptable. Senator Franken is making the right choice by resigning."
U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D.-Minn. - "Senator Franken has determined that he can no longer effectively represent the people of Minnesota. He has done the right thing for Minnesota and our Nation by stepping down."
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. - "Elected officials hold the trust of the constituents they represent, and it is crucial we cherish and honor that trust. I am hopeful this will move our society towards better behavior."
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn. - "I have served with Senator Franken for eight years in the U.S. Congress and he has accomplished a lot of good for Minnesotans. But I believe the pattern of his behavior is unacceptable and his ability to continue to effectively serve Minnesotans has been irreparably compromised."
Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Smith - "He has been a tireless and strong progressive leader on behalf of Minnesotans in Washington, but that in no way excuses his behavior toward the women who came forward. His resignation today is an important part of the healing process."
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman - "It's a sad day for all the causes Al championed. ... But this day is yet another reminder that the countless women who have been the victims of sexual assault and harassment must not be silenced. For too long, their stories have been disbelieved or subject to special scrutiny. As we go forward, it is my hope that we will seize this time in our history to fundamentally change how women are treated in our society."