Skip to main content

What Sen. Al Franken said about the choice of Tina Smith as his successor

Smith will take over for Franken in the Senate once he steps down.

Sen. Al Franken's time in office is nearing its end.

On Wednesday, we learned Tina Smith – the state's lieutenant governor – is being appointed to fill Franken's seat once he leaves.

So what does the current senator think about Gov. Mark Dayton's choice for his successor?

"Tina Smith will make an excellent United States Senator,” Franken said in a statement issued by his office. “She is a dedicated public servant who’s worked tirelessly on behalf of Minnesotans, and Governor Dayton couldn't have made a better choice for this job." 

Related:

5 things to know about Tina Smith

Smith has been involved in Minnesota DFL politics for years, serving in key roles with Dayton and former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak. In Wednesday's announcement, the governor's office praised her work in a wide variety of areas, including battling the opioid crisis, diversity in the workforce, education funding and more.

Franken touched on that further in his statement.

"Her record of accomplishment as Lieutenant Governor demonstrates that she’ll be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota," he said. "I look forward to working with her on ensuring a speedy and seamless transition."

When will that transition be, exactly?

Franken, when announcing his plans to resign, said only it would happen in "the coming weeks."

Related:

5 things Al Franken didn't say in his resignation speech

He hasn't specified a timing beyond that. 

We've asked his spokesperson if a date has been decided on – we'll update this post when we get a response.

Next Up

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

MN Gun Owners Caucus won't endorse gubernatorial candidate in 2022

The organization endorsed Scott Jensen for Minnesota Senate in 2016.

WCCO building

Man who threw gun on WCCO roof charged with murder, manslaughter

The man originally lied and claimed someone else shot the victim.

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.

ambulance

18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.

Hockeyland1

'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

ATV

Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

Related

5 things to know about Tina Smith, who is replacing Al Franken in the Senate

Smith was appointed to take over Al Franken's Senate seat.

Tina Smith will take over for Sen. Al Franken by early January

The senator hasn't given a specific date since announcing his resignation.

Video: Sen. Al Franken – 'I have to admit that it feels like we are losing the war for truth'

Watch this short clip from Franken's final Senate floor speech, in which he argues for honest debate.

What Sen. Al Franken didn't say in his resignation speech

We've all seen what the senator said – but what did he leave out?

Watch Sen. Al Franken's resignation speech

Franken delivered his remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Are voters changing their minds on whether they think Al Franken should resign?

A new poll of Minnesota voters found them split on whether the senator should step down.

Tina Smith: Trump's tweets don't have 'anything to do with Minnesotans and what Minnesotans care about'

The newest U.S. senator for MN called the president's tweet storms "undignified."

Video: Sen. Al Franken's goodbye speech to supporters

The senator gave his first public speech in Minnesota since announcing his plans to resign.