Things are beginning to unfold a bit differently than expected about replacing soon-to-resign Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). Gov. Mark Dayton (D) appeared set to appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D), with the idea that she would serve as a caretaker. Many believed he would move immediately, but the Governor has since backed away from making an overly quick appointment. According to a Daily Kos Elections blog report, Ms. Smith is apparently indicating that she would be interested in running for the seat, which has given the Governor pause.
Among Republicans who might be interested in running in the 2018 special election, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty is reportedly not completely closing the door to entering the race. US Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie) and Tom Emmer (R-Delano), House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown), and state Sens. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center/ Mankato), and Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point/Lake St. Croix Beach) are part of a group of individuals being mentioned as possible special election candidates.
The appointed individual serves until the next regular election, at which time a special is held. The election winner then serves the balance of Franken’s term, which runs through the 2020 election. The newly elected Senator will be eligible to run for a full six-year term in 2020.
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