Speculation Over Potential Replacement for Vacant Minnesota Senate Seat

Several names are popping up and it's the million dollar question in Minnesota politics right now. KMSP Fox 9's Christina Palladino reports from St. Paul.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — There is speculation over who will replace Minnesota Senator Al Franken.

Several names are popping up and it’s the million dollar question in Minnesota politics right now.

Who will replace Senator Franken?

The two-term senator resigned last week amid several allegations of sexual misconduct by various women.

Now, one of the names mentioned to replace Franken in a Huffington Post op-ed by Hamline University Political expert, David Schultz, is State Senator Melisa Franzen.

“It’s something definitely to consider but not something I’m going to jump in without a full vetting and deeply thinking about what I can bring to the role,” Franzen said.

She says Governor Dayton’s office has not formally reached out to her.

Franzen is a two-term state senator from Edina.

She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is an attorney and owns a public relations firm.

She says whoever fills the seat needs to be able to run again in 2018.

“These are really troubling times in our national politics and we need someone who is committed to the role who’s able to there for the long term and see things through,” Franzen said.

Schultz says there are several other women, like Attorney General Lori Swanson and Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, who would be good choices, but he specifically mentioned Franzen in his opinion piece because he feels she represents the future.

“She’s Hispanic/Latino and she’s got a pretty good appeal with one of the most important swing voters in the state of Minnesota, which is suburban soccer moms and suburban women,” Schultz said.

Another Minnesota politician weighing in is former Republican Governor, Arne Carlson.

“While I’m not always in agreement with Senator Al Franken,” he wrote in a blog post published today, “I firmly believe in due process, which is a cornerstone of our democratic way of living.”

Carlson says he doesn’t know who should fill the seat because he believes Franken should stay until an ethics investigation is complete.

“I think it’s imperative for Governor Dayton to publicly speak out and say, ‘no there will be no appointment until the process in the United States Senate is completed.'”

Governor Dayton has not said when he will make his selection.

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