Tags: al franken | klobuchar | minnesota

Here's What Happens If Franken Falls

Image: Here's What Happens If Franken Falls
(AP/Carolyn Kaster)

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Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 08:03 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Pundits and politicians alike were abuzz with speculation over what will happen if embattled Sen. Al Franken announces his resignation today.

Democrats expect Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to appoint a liberal in the mold of Franken to serve through 2018. That’s when voters will decide a special election for the remaining two years of Franken’s term.

The two names most often mentioned: Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, formerly Dayton’s chief of staff and a past president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, and State Attorney General Lori Swanson, who joined attorneys general of four other states in a lawsuit to stop President Trump’s ban on refugees from predominantly Muslim countries.

“There will be pressure from within the Democratic Farmer Labor Party [the official name of the Democratic Party in Minnesota] to name a woman,” John Augustine, veteran Minnesota conservative activist and researcher, told Newsmax. “Franken’s resignation and the resulting appointment set up next year as the biggest election year for Minnesota since 1978, when Republicans elected Gov. Al Quie, Sen. Rudy Boschwitz for a six-year term, and Sen. David Durenberger for an abbreviated four-year term made necessary by the death of Hubert Humphrey.”

Two Republicans names that hit the spotlight: state Rep. Jim Newberger, who is already an announced candidate for Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s seat, and businessman Stewart Mills, III, who waged two strong-but-losing races against Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan.

Newberger is considered a strong conservative, and Mills more of a centrist.

Obviously many Republicans would love to see two-term Rep. Tom Emmer make the Senate race. A former state legislator who came within 9000 votes of Dayton in the 2010 governor’s race, Emmer has maintained a strong conservative record in Congress and still has a strong following statewide. Whether Emmer would be willing to give up his safely Republican House seat for a statewide run seems iffy for now.

Several Republicans have begun to urge party leaders to “think outside the box” and pursue a candidacy by a wealthy political outsider. One name that is beingbandied about is Howard Root, who launched Vascular Solutions in 1997, took it public in 2000, and made it into a worldwide medical device company.

Earlier this year, Root sold Vascular to Teleflex for $1 billion — but not before he went through a living ordeal with the Department of Justice prosecuting his company. It took five years and $25 million, but Root was finally vindicated in court. These days, he is a popular dinner speaker on his private war with the feds.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Pundits and politicians alike were abuzz with speculation over what will happen if embattled Sen. Al Franken announces his resignation today.
al franken, klobuchar, minnesota
438
2017-03-07
Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 08:03 AM
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