MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The wait continues for Gov. Mark Dayton to announce who he will appoint to take over Al Franken’s Senate seat.
The Democrat and former comedian resigned from his post Thursday after a slew of sexual harassment allegations against him surfaced.
All eyes quickly turned to the governor, who is in charge of picking a replacement for the seat until the midterm elections in November of 2018.
The governor’s office has said a decision could come as soon as this weekend.
“No matter who the governor picks there’s going to be a bunch of people who are not going to like what he does,” Hamline University Political Science professor David Schultz said.
Schultz says the governor’s decision has implications for the state and national political atmosphere.
“Do you want somebody who is going to be able to win re-election because the appointment is only going to be temporary,” Schultz said. “Or do they pick somebody who is going to be neutral, a caretaker and therefore depoliticize it.”
Schultz believes the governor will pick somebody who can raise a lot of campaign money fast in time for the November 2018 midterm election.
“I suspect that this is going to be a seat that is going to probably require somebody to raise $20 or $25 million really quickly, because this is going to be a very expensive seat because the Democrats have to hold this if they want to control the Senate,” Schultz said.
Because the vacancy was born out of controversy surrounding allegations of sexual harassment, many have called on the governor to choose a woman to fill the seat.
“There’s probably no one correct answer regarding what criteria or criterion to use,” Schultz said.
There have also been calls to fill the seat with a woman of color. Nine of the 10 Minnesotan members of Congress are white.
Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has been a name floated to replace Franken. Congressman Keith Ellison and state Sen. Melisa Franzen of Edina are also names Schultz thinks could be on a short list.