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Franken’s exit sets stage for Smith to join Senate today

ST. PAUL — Sen. Al Franken has officially resigned from the Senate.

The Minnesota Democrat formally resigned Tuesday afternoon. It comes nearly a month after he announced his plans to leave Congress after a swirl of sexual misconduct allegations that began in November.

His departure sets the stage for current Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to be sworn in on Wednesday to take over his seat.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton picked his second-in-command last month to replace Franken. Smith is also a Democrat and plans to run for the seat in a special election in November.

Franken joined the Senate in 2009 after winning a months-long recount. He held an event in Minneapolis last week to thank supporters and friends.

GOP’s Bachmann mulling bid for Franken’s Senate seat

ST. PAUL  — One-time Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann says she’s considering running for Al Franken’s former Senate seat.

The former Minnesota congresswoman told televangelist Jim Bakker during his TV show that she’s praying about the decision.

Franken formally resigned on Tuesday. The Minnesota Democrat announced plans to leave the Senate nearly a month ago, after a swirl of sexual misconduct allegations.

His immediate replacement, Democratic Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, will be sworn in on Wednesday. She plans to run for the seat in a November special election.

Bachmann unsuccessfully ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. She’s a deeply conservative Republican with a history of making controversial statements, including suggesting in 2012 that the federal government was being overtaken by the Muslim Brotherhood.

She served four terms in Congress.