MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman has endorsed Republican state Sen. Karin Housley in the race for Al Franken’s former U.S. Senate seat.

karin housley Former Sen. Norm Coleman Endorses Karin Housley For Franken’s Seat

(credit: Minnesota Senate)

“It is my honor and privilege to endorse Karin Housley,” Coleman said in a statement released Thursday. “Washington needs more real world practical experience. Karin faced head-on the challenges of being an entrepreneur and raising a family and never blinked.”

Coleman severed as a Minnesota senator from 2003 to 2009. He narrowly lost a 2008 re-election to Franken.

So far, Housley is the only Republican to step forward in the race for November’s special election, which was prompted by Franken’s resignation earlier this year in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.

Housley is running against Democrat Sen. Tina Smith, who was appointed to Franken’s seat by Gov. Mark Dayton. Before her appointment, Smith had been Dayton’s lieutenant governor.

gettyimages 82638157 Former Sen. Norm Coleman Endorses Karin Housley For Franken’s Seat

(credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In a statement Thursday, Housley said she is “extremely pleased” to have Coleman’s endorsement.

The small business owner and wife to hockey legend Phil Housley says she’s also been endorsed by Rep. Tom Emmer and several members of the Minnesota Legislature.

The special election is slated for Nov. 6.

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