Despite Sen. Al Franken (D) not yet identifying a specific date for his pending resignation to become effective, other potential office seekers are already beginning to make definitive moves. State Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point/Washington County) announced yesterday that she will enter the special election contest to serve the balance of the current Senate term. Sen. Housley’s husband is Phil Housley, the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey club. As a player whose career spanned 20 seasons, Mr. Housley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as the second highest scorer of all-time among American players. Sen. Housley was first elected to the legislature in 2012, won a second term last year, is a realtor, and hosts her own radio program.
On the other end of the spectrum, state Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake/Anoka County), the body’s Deputy Majority Leader, indicated that she will not become a Senate candidate. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) continues to be mentioned as a potential contender, but other than him not completely closing the door on running the Minnesota ex-chief executive hasn’t given any tangible indication that he is preparing a return to elective politics.
The Senate special will run concurrently with the regular election cycle. The eventual Republican nominee will likely run against appointed Sen. Tina Smith (D), who will take office once Franken officially departs.
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