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Here's what happens to Al Franken's Senate seat now that he is planning to resign

  • Sen. Al Franken announced his resignation on Thursday.
  • Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is now mulling a replacement.
  • There will be a special election in November 2018 for Minnesota voters to officially elect a replacement for the remainder of Franken’s term.

Democratic Sen. Al Franken announced his resignation from the Senate on Thursday amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Minnesota senator said he plans to officially step down in the coming weeks.

The move will leave a vacancy in the Senate and give Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton the power to appoint Franken’s successor. The Star Tribune reported on Wednesday that Dayton is likely to appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, but the decision is not official. Dayton said he will announce his choice within days.

“[Smith] really gets Minnesota, she gets the players, she has great built-up relationships,” a Democratic operative with extensive experience in Minnesota told Politico. “She makes practical sense, and she would be a good bridge builder.”

Under Dayton’s reported plan, Smith would serve only as a placeholder until a special election – held in November 2018 – which would give the people of Minnesota the opportunity to elect someone to serve the remaining two years of what was supposed to be Franken’s six-year term.

Various Democratic candidates that can compete in an open primary for the seat.

Franken was a rising star in the Democratic Party before accusations of sexual misconduct against him surfaced in November. In the ensuing weeks, more women came forward. At least right women have since detailed their stories of groping and forcible kissing. This led a flood of Democratic senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, to publicly call on Franken to resign.

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