ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Minnesota State Senator Karin Housley, a Republican representing the Stillwater and Forest Lake areas, is running for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by the resignation of Sen. Al Franken. Franken announced his resignation Thursday, Dec. 7 from the Senate floor, and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has named current Lt. Gov. Tina Smith as Franken’s replacement.
Smith said she will run in a special election in November 2018, and she now has a Republican challenger in Housley.
In a video announcing her campaign, Housley touts a platform of veteran and senior citizen advocacy, small business protections, education funding and pro-life policies.
The stage is set for a high-profile 2018 election cycle, with races for Minnesota governor, the Franken seat in the Senate and Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s seat.
“It could be the most expensive election cycle in Minnesota history,” said David Schultz, a professor of political science at Hamline University.
Schultz projects as much as $100 million could be spent during the election cycle. The race would also make history, marking the first time since 1978 that both Minnesota Senate seats would be open at the same time.
Whoever wins the 2018 election for Franken’s seat would then serve out the rest of his term until 2020, when they would once again be up for re-election.