The Latest: Dayton pressured on Franken appointment
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on the fallout from Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s plans to resign following allegations of sexual harassment (all times local):
Two Democrats tell The Associated Press that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is coming under pressure from party leaders to appoint more than a placeholder to fill Sen. Al Franken’s seat until a special election next year.
Dayton initially planned to name his lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, to the post following Franken’s Thursday announcement that he will resign. Smith would have served just until a 2018 special election.
But a Democratic official familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press that Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has pressured Dayton to name a replacement who will also run for re-election next year to serve the remainder of Franken’s term, which runs through 2020.
The official and a separate Democratic operative said Friday that Smith is now considering a possible run herself. Neither Democrat was authorized to discuss the conditions before Dayton’s announcement.
Associated Press writers Kyle Potter and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he’s considering running for Sen. Al Franken’s U.S. Senate seat.
The Republican governor and one-time presidential candidate insisted Friday that he’s still “politically retired.” But Pawlenty would be a prized recruit in 2018 for Republicans hoping to capitalize on Franken’s resignation amid a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations.
Pawlenty became the last Republican to win a statewide election in Minnesota when he won his second term in 2006. And he considered running for Senate before he decided to run for governor.
He says Franken’s resignation has forced him and others to think about how to improve the state and nation. He spoke after addressing a local Chamber of Commerce event.
Franken announced on Thursday he would resign in the coming weeks.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s resignation amid sexual harassment allegations has Democrats at home scrambling to find a short- and long-term replacement.
Franken announced his resignation Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor, disputing or denying some of the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by at least eight women. Franken had hoped to weather the accusations but his support eroded after more surfaced Wednesday.
His rapid fall leaves it to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton to appoint a replacement. Dayton says he’ll name a successor in the next few days.
It’s unclear whether Dayton would appoint a temporary caretaker or set up someone for a 2018 bid. His lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, has been frequently mentioned as a possible appointee.