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Franken’s exit will set stage for Smith to join Senate

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 2, 2018, 12:32 p.m.

In this Dec. 28, 2017, photo, outgoing U.S. Sen. Al Franken speaks about his accomplishments and thanks his team in Minneapolis, as his eight years in the Senate are set to come to an end soon. (Glen Stubbe / Associated Press)
In this Dec. 28, 2017, photo, outgoing U.S. Sen. Al Franken speaks about his accomplishments and thanks his team in Minneapolis, as his eight years in the Senate are set to come to an end soon. (Glen Stubbe / Associated Press)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – 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.