FRANKEN RESIGNS: What happens next?

Senator Al Franken announced his resignation Thursday, Dec. 7 from the Senate floor. The announcement will have a large political ripple effect as politicians fight to fill his vacant seat, likely bringing a national spotlight to Minnesota’s 2018 election.

Once in effect, Governor Mark Dayton would be able to appoint a person to take the seat temporarily. The seat would then be on the ballot in the November 2018 election, marking a trifecta of high-profile races which would include Senator Amy Klobuchar's seat and the gubernatorial race. 

“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.