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Franken’s Senate seat to be filled by Minnesota’s lieutenant governor

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will take over Al Franken’s seat in the U.S. Senate, the governor of Minnesota announced Wednesday, keeping a Democrat in the seat for now but setting the stage for a freewheeling 2018 election that could shift the balance of power in Minnesota and in Washington. Franken announced last week that he would resign after being accused by women of sexual misconduct. Smith, the lieutenant governor since 2015, will serve as senator until at least next fall, when voters are expected to choose a candidate to fill the remaining two years of Franken’s term. Smith also said that she plans to run for the office in that 2018 election.

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