Al Franken officially stepped down from his post as the junior U.S. Senator from Minnesota on Tuesday, weeks after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.
“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,” the former Democratic senator wrote in a resignation letter to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. He went through with the resignation despite some Democrats expressing regret that Franken was pressured to resign before an ethics investigation was completed. A poll taken in the final week of 2017 showed a majority of Minnesota voters also thought Franken resigned too soon.
Franken had announced that he would give up his Senate seat in December, days after six female senators called on him to step down. Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, who is due to be sworn in on Wednesday, was selected as his temporary replacement.
Smith has said that she plans to run in a November 2018 special election to decide Franken’s successor. And she may face competition from former Minnesota congresswoman and failed presidential candidate Michele Bachman, who said during an interview with an evangelical television program that she is thinking about running for Franken’s seat.
“I’ve had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat,” Bachmann told The Jim Bakker show, according to CNN. “The question is: Should it be me? Should it be now? But there’s also a price you pay. And the price is bigger than ever because the swamp is so toxic.”
Bachmann also noted that she is thinking about running “for the ability to take these principles into the United States Senate”–and by “these principles,” perhaps she means her reported commitment to gay conversion therapy and crusade against Aladdin.