Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced his plans to resign following a series of allegations from women accusing him of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Franken’s replacement will be selected by Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Dayton is expected to choose Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, who will hold the seat until a special election in November 2018.
On Wednesday morning after Politico published the story of a woman who said Franken tried to kiss her after a 2006 radio show, Democratic senators began to call for his resignation. (Franken denied the allegation.) Over the course of a few hours more than half the caucus called for the second-term senator to step down.
The first allegation against Franken came on November 16 , when radio anchor Leeann Tweeden said that she had been forcibly kissed while rehearsing on a USO tour in 2006. She also included a photo of Franken mimicking groping her breasts while she slept on a flight during the same tour. Franken apologized but said he did not remember the kiss in the same way. In all, eight women have accused Franken of harassment or misconduct .
After a career in comedy, writing, activism and talk radio, Franken first won election to the Senate in 2008, winning by just over 300 votes in a tight three-way race. He won reelection in 2014 by ten points and was being put forth by some as a potential candidate for president in 2020.