Minnesota Lieutenant Governor, Tina Smith is ready to join the Senate in 2018, and has filled the position left vacant by the resignation of serial groper, Al Franken.
It was assumed that Smith would be taking the seat only temporarily until the special elections when the voters would choose the successor to Smith. However, when the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton went on to appoint her in December of last year, she made it clear that she plans to run in, and win, the special election. Currently she is involved in shoring up support within her state and part for the 2018 run.
This makes her the ultimate favorite to win the seat, even if the Republicans have intentions to take the seat for them by putting forward a strong contender. Furthermore, Dayton too put up his number 2 to replace Franken, who is to resign after several sexual misconduct allegations that includes harassment and groping. Smith is to sworn in for her position in the Senate, on 3rd January, after Franken officially leaves his seat.
Smith has also been a very close friend and confidante of Dayton ever since her joining his campaign in 2010 while working for him as the chief of staff as the race ended.
Now she wants to serve as the Junior Senator for her state, as the special elections in November 2018 provide her a chance to win the rights to serve the Senate in Franken’s final two years of terms.
Steven Schier, a political science professor at the Carleton College said that Smith brings with her a promise of bringing a “very different temperament.”
“Al Franken is an outspoken partisan who really endeared himself to his own party’s base, but had limited relations with members of the opposition party,” Schier said. “Tina Smith is very different. She’s been a policy leader for Gov. Dayton, centrally involved in negotiations with Republican leaders in the legislature.”
Before facing the allegations of sexual misconduct, Franken had a seemingly secure future in the Senate. Majority of the members of the DFL – Minnesota’s Democratic-Farm-Labor Party – the state’s equal for Democrats, were of the assumption that only thing, which could get Franken out of Senate was President’s Bid.
As the Dayton’s decision to support Smith didn’t come as a surprise, the decision to allow her another run in 2018 caught some of the on-lookers off-guard.
“It is up to Minnesotans to decide for themselves who they want to complete Sen. Franken’s term. They will make this decision in a special election next November,” Smith had said in a December press conference where she accepted Dayton’s appointment. “I will run in that election and I will do my best to earn Minnesotans’ support. And I believe the best way to do that is to be the best senator that I can be.”