Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) will hold a Wednesday 10 AM news conference to announce who he is naming to replace Sen. Al Franken.
Minnesota Gov Dayton will announce Franken's replacement in the Senate tomorrow at 10:00 AM in the state capitol
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) December 12, 2017
Franken has not officially resigned yet, but his replacement will be officially named tomorrow. For those holding out hope that Franken would reconsider, that door is closing fast.
It has become clear that Dayton won’t be naming Rep. Keith Ellison to the seat.
As the StarTribune reported, the leading contender is Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, “Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, who has been a close confidante of Dayton since his 2010 election, has emerged as a leading contender, though questions have arisen about whether she would run for the office in 2018 and, if she wins, again for the full six-year term in 2020.”
Minnesota is a state with a lot of talented Democrats, so if Smith doesn’t run for the full term in 2020, it could lead to a wild and wide open primary. Al Franken isn’t going to change his mind, and the announcement from Gov. Dayton means that Franken will not be staying in the Senate.
The Franken era is over, and we will see at 10 AM on Wednesday who the next Senator from Minnesota will be.