Minnesota Senator Eyes Franken’s Seat in Capitol

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CN) — A Republican in the Minnesota Legislature announced Tuesday that she will run in the 2018 special election to replace resigning Democratic Sen. Al Franken in Congress.

A real estate agent from St. Marys Point, a small eastern suburb of Minneapolis, Karin Housley was re-elected to her second term in the Minnesota Senate last year.

She is the first Republican to announce a candidacy since Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Dec. 13 to replace Franken when he leaves office in the coming weeks.

Though Franken announced his resignation on Dec. 7 amid mounting sexual misconduct allegations, the 66-year-old former comedian offered no precise date for his departure.

Housley, who turns 54 in January, announced her run in a nearly 2-minute video posted to YouTube.

“I would love to represent you and be the new voice for Minnesota in the United States Senate,” she said. “I’ll bring the same Minnesota work ethic to D.C; and I’ll work hard, play fair, do the right thing and get things done.”

In the video, Housley also mentioned her upbringing in South St. Paul and that she is the child of two public school teachers. Housley married her high school sweetheart, Phil Housley, an NHL Hall of Famer and head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. They have four children and two grandchildren.

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