MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans re-elected Sen. Amy Klobuchar to the U.S. Senate in November.
Three months later, the Democrat is running for president.
Some WCCO-TV viewers emailed us wanting to know why that’s allowed.
Klobuchar is running for president despite promising in a Minnesota Public Radio debate she would serve out her full six-year term.
“Of course I will. I think my track record shows that. I love working in the Senate. I love representing Minnesota,” Klobuchar said in the 2018 MPR State Fair debate.
Some of you told us you are not happy about Klobuchar’s campaign, so soon after her re-election to a third term. Here’s a sample of the emails you sent us:
Who is going to do Senator Klobuchar’s job for the next 20 months while she is busy running for President in 2020?
Why is Amy Klobuchar on the campaign trail to be elected President when she was elected to serve the people of Minnesota? Are unaware Minnesotans footing the bill for her run for President? After all we pay her salary.
How can Amy Klobuchar and all the others running for president spend all their time now campaigning? Did we not elect her to be our senator and shouldn’t she be spending her time in Washington doing the job we appointed her to? Seems like all they care about now is themselves and not the people she was appointed to serve.
Nice to hear that Amy Klobuchar is doing so well on her campaign trail. But can I ask while she is out tripping across the U.S. Who’s talking care of her responsibilities to Minnesotans that elected her? See if she can be away for such long periods of time, why is she being paid so much for a part time job? Boy the privileges awarded to our elected officials just keep stacking up don’t they.
Amy Klobuchar just got elected as a senator now she’s out campaigning for president is she taking vacation leave or are we paying her salary not to work and to campaign? I guess this question would hold true for any person who campaigns for another position when they are being paid to do something else.
In fact, running for one public office while holding another is perfectly legal. And Klobuchar’s not the only sitting Senator running for president: Democrats Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillebrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are all in the race.
In 2016, Republicans Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio ran for president while serving in the Senate.
But five states now have what’s called “resign to run” laws: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii and Texas. It means elected officials must resign from their current office before running for a different one.
Cruz from Texas and Rubio from Florida were not affected by “resign” laws when they ran for president because the laws had not yet been approved.
Minnesota does not have such laws.
As to who pays? Federal law requires candidates to pay for campaign trips with political donations.
A campaign spokesperson issued this written statement to WCCO-TV:
Senator Klobuchar will continue to work for Minnesota, do her job, and ensure Minnesotans have a strong voice in the Senate. And whether she is in the White House or the Senate, she will be representing the people of Minnesota.
This year, she has missed 7.1 percent of Senate votes, according to the online vote tracking website GovTrack.
Since announcing her presidential run, she has introduced 10 bills.
Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check: