Franken to resign Jan. 2

Sen. Al Franken first announced his resignation on the floor of Congress on Dec. 7.

Even as some supporters urged him to reconsider, Sen. Al Franken announced Wednesday he would resign from office Jan. 2.

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, who Gov. Mark Dayton chose to serve the rest of Franken’s term, will be sworn into office Jan. 3, according to a Franken spokesperson. Smith has said she plans to run for the seat in a November special election.

After multiple women came forward with allegations of unwanted sexual contact by Franken, Minnesota’s Democratic junior senator said on Dec. 7 he would resign “in the coming weeks.” Franken had previously said he was open to an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee, but changed course after more than two dozen of his Democratic colleagues called on him to step down.

Smith’s role as lieutenant governor will be taken by state Sen. Michelle Fischbach (R–Paynesville). As outlined in the state constitution, the president of the Minnesota Senate — Fischbach — fills a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s office.

Fischbach’s plan to serve in both offices simultaneously has been challenged by state DFLers. Should Dayton, a DFLer, be unable to complete his final year in office, Republican Fischbach would take his place.