Minnesota

Franken says he’s leaving Senate

but not giving up voice

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Outgoing U.S. Sen. Al Franken says he may be leaving office, but he’s not giving up his voice.

The Minnesota Democrat thanked supporters and friends in Minneapolis Thursday night as his eight years in the Senate are set to come to an end. The former “Saturday Night Live” comedian said he didn’t know what to expect when he first ran for office, “and of course, neither did Minnesotans.”

Franken thanked his wife, Franni, their family and his staff as well as Minnesota’s senior senator, Democrat Amy Klobuchar. He said he still feels like “the luckiest kid in the world.”

Franken announced his plans to resign earlier this month amid a string of sexual misconduct allegations. He’ll officially step down on Tuesday. His successor, current Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, is set to be sworn in on Wednesday.

Smith exits Mayo partnership

board as she heads to Senate

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is resigning from the board overseeing the public-private partnership with Mayo Clinic before she heads to the U.S. Senate.

Smith has chaired the Destination Medical Center Board since its creation in 2013. The project is meant to help the famed hospital expand its Rochester base with a blend of private investment and taxpayer-funded infrastructure expansion.

But Smith was appointed earlier this month to replace Sen. Al Franken when he resigns, effective next week. Smith announced Thursday she’d step away from the Destination Medical Center Board.

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