What Sen. Franken's Resignation Means For The State
From the senate floor Thursday afternoon, Senator Al Franken announced his resignation, amid numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, and pressure from other party members to step down.
"It's another sign of continuing political turmoil," MSU Associate Professor of Political Science Fred Slocum.
Slocum said his resignation is one example of how the culture of silence around reporting sexual abuse is eroding.
"This situation will probably continue to embolden those who feel like they have been sexually harassed or those who have been the victims of sexual improprieties in the past to come forward," Slocum said.
Franken also used his resignation to reference some Republicans continuing their political career, despite allegations of sexual misconduct.
"There is an irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault now sits in the Oval Office," Franken said.
"Franken took pains to point out that partisan contrast between Democrats being more willing to get rid of people accused of involvement in these situations and Republicans willing to stand behind them regardless," Solcum said.
Now, with Franken's resignation in the coming weeks, Governor Dayton said in a statement today that he will appoint an interim senator in the "next couple of days."
The interim senator will hold Franken's seat until a special election in November 2018. That elected senator will serve the remainder of Franken's term until 2020.
When looking at who Dayton could appoint, one name mentioned so far is Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith.