Amy Klobuchar

No-Alias: Smith & Jones Will Alter the Senate in ’18
Two newest Democrats will join as powerful a minority as possible, whether they skew left or to the center

The Senate will be a very different place after the arrival of two new Democratic senators: Doug Jones, the winner of Tuesday’s stunning upset in Alabama, and Tina Smith, who was tapped on Wednesday to fill the pending vacancy in Minnesota. (CQ Roll Call file photos)

Turns out, the Senate is going to be quite a different place next year even without Roy Moore — and that’s not only because senators named Smith and Jones will be serving together for the first time in 86 years.

The chamber will have its closest partisan split in a decade, and the narrowest divide in favor of the Republicans since the spring of 2001. The roster of women will expand to a record 22, and for the first time a pair of women will comprise the Senate delegations of four states. The Deep South will be represented by a Democrat for the first time in four years.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith Picked to Replace Al Franken in Senate
Says she will run for election in 2018 in Likely Democratic race

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, seen here with former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, will fill the Senate seat vacated by DFL Sen. Al Franken. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday said he would appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill the Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Sen. Al Franken, who has yet to announce his resignation date. 

Smith said Wednesday she will run for the remainder of Franken’s term, which is up in 2020. The special election will be held concurrently with next year’s midterms, when Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sen. Amy Klobuchar also faces voters.

Minnesota Governor to Announce Senate Appointment Wednesday
Senator Al Franken still hasn’t said when he’s resigning

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, seen here leaving the Capitol on Dec. 7 with his wife, Franni, after announcing he’d resign last week, hasn’t set a date for his resignation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday will announce his selection to fill the seat of Sen. Al Franken, who has yet to set a date for his resignation. 

Dayton has been expected to appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, his former chief of staff, to the seat. She’d have the option of running next fall to fill out the rest of Franken’s term, which is up in 2021. 

Wasserman Schultz Marks 10 Years Since Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Florida Democrat shares what her “cancer-versary” milestone means to her

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz shows a softball signed by participants in the Congressional Women's Softball Game. (Bian Elkhatib/ CQ Roll Call)

Dec. 7 is no ordinary day for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. On this day in 2007, the Florida Democrat was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Dec. 7th for me is always emotional but having reached 10 years since I was diagnosed, which is the milestone for any cancer survivor — it’s your cancer-versary — it’s pretty overwhelming,” she said.

The Strange Day of Senate Farewells
Franken, Strange speeches were very different scenes

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and his wife Franni, leave the Capitol on December 7, 2017, after Franken announced on the Senate floor that he will resign his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday became departure day in the Senate, with back-to-back farewell speeches oddly linked due to the recent wave of allegations about sexual harassment.

Staffers and visitors, along with members of the media, filled the Senate chamber Thursday morning for Sen. Al Franken’s announcement that he would in fact resign his seat in the aftermath of an ever-increasing number of sexual harassment allegations.

Ratings Change: Franken Steps Down Amid Allegations, Seat Starts Likely Democratic
Minnesota Senator resigns after colleagues call for his exit

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and his wife Franni, leave the Capitol on Thursday, after Franken announced on the Senate floor that he will resign his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Al Franken’s resignation puts another Democratic seat into the 2018 mix, but it’s still unclear whether his departure provides Republicans with a legitimate takeover opportunity.

To handicap a race, it’s helpful to know where the contest will take place and who is running. In this case, we know the place is Minnesota, where, despite Donald Trump’s surge in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton narrowly prevailed in 2016, 46-45 percent, and where Republicans haven’t won a Senate race since Norm Coleman’s 2-point victory in 2002.

Franken Makes Democrats Remember ‘Minnesota Massacre’
Botched 1976 Senate pick led to Democratic-Farmer-Labor party being swept from top offices two years later

Embattled Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is expected to make an announcement about his future on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will reportedly appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Sen. Al Franken, who is expected to announce his resignation today.

Sources told the Minnesota Star-Tribune that Smith is the likely choice to fill Franken’s seat before a special election in 2018.

What Happens to Franken’s Seat If He Resigns?
Governor would appoint placeholder, followed by special election in November 2018

There could be two Senate elections next fall in Minnesota instead of just one. If Sen. Al Franken steps down, there would be a special election for the remainder of his term. Senior Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s seat is also up next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken isn’t up for re-election until 2020. But if he announces his resignation Thursday, the North Star State will be holding two Senate elections next fall.

Ahead of next November, though, not much would shift in the Senate. If Democratic-Farmer-Labor Gov. Mark Dayton appoints another Democrat immediately, the balance of power in the Senate would remain unchanged.

Klobuchar Assumes Sponsorship of Franken Sexual Assault Bill
Franken’s office had worked on bill with rape victim

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has taken over a bill from Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., that would provide grants to law enforcement to train them how to question victims of sexual assault and other abuse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has assumed the sponsorship of a bill set to be introduced by fellow Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken that would provide training grants for law enforcement personnel that questions victims of sexual assault and other abuse.

Franken’s office worked with 22-year-old Abby Honold to craft the bill. In 2014, Honold was raped by another student at the University of Minnesota, Daniel Drill-Mellum, a one-time intern for Franken.