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.
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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.

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