Reaction to Sen. Al Franken’s announcement that he intends to resign in the coming weeks:
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, also a Democrat, who is tasked with choosing Franken’s replacement
“I extend my deepest regrets to the women, who have had to endure their unwanted experiences with Senator Franken. As a personal friend, my heart also goes out to Al and his family during this difficult time.
“In other respects, Al Franken has been an outstanding Senator. He has been, as Senator Paul Wellstone used to say, ‘A Senator from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.’ He is very smart, very hard-working, and very committed to Minnesota. I wish him well in his future endeavors.
“Events have unfolded quickly; thus, I have not yet decided on my appointment to fill this upcoming vacancy. I expect to make and announce my decision in the next couple of days.
“I will have no further comments on this subject until that time.”
Lt. Governor Tina Smith who is rumored to be Dayton’s choice to fill Franken’s seat:
“Senator Franken has been a servant to the people of Minnesota, and a champion for working people during his time in the Senate. I thank him for his service. On this difficult day, I am holding Senator Franken, his family, and those who have worked beside him over the last decade to make this country a better place, in my thoughts.
“I also am thinking today about the many women around the country who have come forward in recent months to share their stories about sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can never be tolerated in our politics, our businesses, or anywhere else.
“Now, it is on all of us to come together and make the progress necessary to live up to the values we believe in. Governor Dayton and I remain committed to ensuring that Minnesota is a place where everyone has the opportunity to realize their full potential.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee on the election that will be held in 2018 for Franken’s seat:
“The NRSC is confident Republicans will be able to win this soon-to-be vacant Senate seat come November, and look forward to expanding our Senate Majority,” said NRSC Spokesman Michael McAdams.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin who must now deal with what promises to be a volatile campaign for US Senate as well as an already crowded race for Governor:
“Senator Franken made the right decision today. He has been a tireless and strong progressive leader on behalf of Minnesotans in Washington, but that in no way excuses his behavior toward the women who came forward. His resignation today is an important part of the healing process.”
“While sexual harassment and assault are dominating headlines recently, they have dominated the lives of women in our country for far too long. This much-overdue reckoning will not be easy—in fact, people will be angry, shocked, and saddened, as some remember personal experiences similar to those being shared in the news.”
“But the strength of this movement is the power of once-silent voices being heard loud and clear. And it’s our duty—as Democrats, as political leaders, and as Americans—to hold those in power accountable for their actions.”