SEVERE WX: Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Primary 2018: Favorites for Franken's Minnesota seat reflect #MeToo's rise

FILE - In this Jan 3, 2018, file photo, Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., smiles after being administered the Senate oath of office during a mock swearing in ceremony with Vice President Mike Pence in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The sudden downfall of Sen. Al Franken amid the rise of the #MeToo movement set the course for what could be a two-woman race to finish his term, part of an unusual primary Tuesday featuring both of Minnesota's Senate seats on the same ballot

Posted: Aug. 14, 2018 8:33 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The sudden downfall of Sen. Al Franken amid the rise of the #MeToo movement set the course for what could be a two-woman race to finish his term, part of an unusual primary Tuesday featuring both of Minnesota's Senate seats on the same ballot.

Franken's successor, Democrat Tina Smith, and the endorsed Republican candidate, state Sen. Karin Housley, were heavy favorites in their respective races.

In Minnesota's other Senate race, popular incumbent Amy Klobuchar was looking at an easy win over four Democrats, while state Rep. Jim Newberger carried the GOP endorsement against three rivals.

Franken, a Democrat and former "Saturday Night Live" comedian, resigned at the beginning of the year after a firestorm erupted last November amid a string of sexual misconduct allegations. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Smith , his lieutenant governor and a top aide, to the seat until this November's special election to fill out the final two years of Franken's term.

A Smith-Housley matchup would come at a time when the #MeToo movement has changed the American landscape, sweeping many high-profile men out of power in politics , media and entertainment . A record number of women are now running for governor and Congress across the country.

Democrats resoundingly endorsed Smith at their state convention in June. Her most prominent primary challenger was Richard Painter, a former ethics attorney in President George W. Bush's administration whose profile rose as a strident critic of President Donald Trump.

Painter, now a law professor at the University of Minnesota, ran to Smith's left on some other issues, including supporting single-payer health care and opposing copper-nickel mining.

Housley, who had no opposition for the GOP endorsement, was considered the strong favorite over two little-known Republicans. The two-term state senator's name is familiar in hockey-crazy Minnesota because her husband is Phil Housley, the Hall of Fame defenseman who jumped straight from South St. Paul High School into the NHL and now coaches the Buffalo Sabres.

___

Sign up for "Politics in Focus," a weekly newsletter showcasing the AP's best political reporting from around the country leading up to the midterm elections: http://apne.ws/3Gzcraw

Article Comments

Mason City
Broken Clouds
11° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 0°
Albert Lea
Clear
14° wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 5°
Austin
Clear
18° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 9°
Charles City
Few Clouds
16° wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 9°
Rochester
Overcast
10° wxIcon
Hi: 18° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 0°
Tracking rebounding temperatures and fresh snow Sunday.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Friday's 6 p.m. state wrestling highlights

Image

Prep basketball highlights and scores: Iowa basketball districts; LP knocks off Grand Meadow

Image

Prep basketball highlights from Southern Minnesota; Hurt goes for 40

Image

Talking about industrial hemp production

Image

National Emergency Reactions

Image

Friday: Class 1A, 2A semifinals

Image

Friday: 2A quarterfinals, 3A semifinals

Image

Protecting Your Windows

Image

Dealing with the Aftermath of Pileup Crash

Image

Seal of Literacy

Community Events