Al Franken officially steps down from the Senate

Al Franken stepped down as the junior senator from Minnesota on Tuesday. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

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.

Minnesota Lt. Governor Tina Smith fields questions after being named the replacement for Al Franken by Governor Mark Dayton on December 13, 2017 at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

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.

Former U.S. Rep Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) talks with then-Senator Al Franken (D-MN) in the House chamber after Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint meeting of Congress in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 18, 2014. Bachmann floated the idea of taking a run in the special election for the Senate seat vacated by Franken. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

“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.


New poll shows many women in Minnesota want Al Franken to not go through with resignation plans

Minnesota governor selects Tina Smith to fill Senate seat being vacated by Al Franken

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.