ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The first Republican candidate has announced a bid for Democratic Sen. Al Franken's seat in 2018.
State Sen. Karin Housley launched her campaign Tuesday for the special election to complete Franken's term, which ends in 2020. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's pick to hold the seat until the special election, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, is also expected to run.
Franken announced he'll resign amid a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations against him. Housley's candidacy gives Republicans an alluring option at a time when female candidates are viewed as necessary.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty is among the other Republicans who are considering running next year.
Housley is a second-term lawmaker and real estate agent from Minneapolis's eastern suburbs. She's married to Phil Housley, who had a long NHL playing career and is now head coach of the Buffalo Sabres.