Reactions to Al Franken's resignation from politicians and Minnesotans

Reactions from Congress, politicians, and notable Minnesotans.
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On Thursday morning, Al Franken announced he will resign as a Minnesota senator following allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct from several women.

“Let me be clear,” Franken in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday morning, “I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice. I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist.”

Here's a running list of reactions to Franken's resignation announcement from Congress, politicians, and notable Minnesotans. We'll update this list as statements are made.

Gov. Mark Dayton:

“I extend my deepest regrets to the women, who have had to endure their unwanted experiences with Senator Franken. As a personal friend, my heart also goes out to Al and his family during this difficult time. 

"In other respects, Al Franken has been an outstanding Senator. He has been, as Senator Paul Wellstone used to say, ‘A Senator from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.’ He is very smart, very hard-working, and very committed to Minnesota. I wish him well in his future endeavors."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:

"Today Senator Franken acknowledged that he could no longer serve in the Senate and resigned. As he and I discussed yesterday, this is the right decision." 

Read Klobuchar's full statement on Facebook.

Rep. Betty McCollum:

Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party Chairman Ken Martin:

“Senator Franken made the right decision today. He has been a tireless and strong progressive leader on behalf of Minnesotans in Washington, but that in no way excuses his behavior toward the women who came forward. His resignation today is an important part of the healing process."

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith:

“Senator Franken has been a servant to the people of Minnesota, and a champion for working people during his time in the Senate. I thank him for his service. On this difficult day, I am holding Senator Franken, his family, and those who have worked beside him over the last decade to make this country a better place, in my thoughts.

"I also am thinking today about the many women around the country who have come forward in recent months to share their stories about sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can never be tolerated in our politics, our businesses, or anywhere else.

"Now, it is on all of us to come together and make the progress necessary to live up to the values we believe in. Governor Dayton and I remain committed to ensuring that Minnesota is a place where everyone has the opportunity to realize their full potential."

Rep. Tom Emmer:

“I am pleased Senator Franken made the right decision for the great state of Minnesota and our country. Elected officials hold the trust of the constituents they represent, and it is crucial we cherish and honor that trust. I am hopeful this will move our society towards better behavior.”

Rep. Keith Ellison:

The National Repiblican Senatorial Committee

"The NRSC is confident Republicans will be able to win this soon-to-be vacant Senate seat come November, and look forward to expanding our Senate Majority."

Mayor of St. Paul Chris Coleman:

"Today, Al Franken announced his resignation from the US Senate. This is a sad day for the State of Minnesota. It is a sad day for all the causes Al has championed. It is a sad day for Connie and I who have been friends with Al and Franni for many years.

But this day is yet another reminder that the countless women who have been the victims of sexual assault and harassment must not be silenced. For too long, their stories have been disbelieved or subject to special scrutiny. As we go forward, it is my hope that we will seize this time in our history to fundamentally change how women are treated in our society."

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