UPDATE: It's official: Dayton has selected Lt. Gov. Tina Smith as Franken's replacement.
Dayton praised Smith for her intelligence, integrity, and likability, and said that she will be an excellent representation in the Senate.
"Tina Smith will be the best possible Senator for Minnesota," said Dayton.
After ceding the podium to Smith, she began by saying that she would be a "fierce advocate in the United States Senate for economic opportunity and fairness."
The Washington Post is reporting that Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) has selected his Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in the Senate after Franken resigns. Franken announced last week that he will be stepping down from the Senate "in the coming weeks" after eight women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, including groping and unwanted kisses.
WaPo's Ed O'Keefe said that "multiple Democrats" had confirmed that Smith was the choice, and that Smith intends on running for the seat in November 2018 for the remaining two years of Franken's term. Franken was due for reelection in 2020. Smith's name has been on the radar as a potential replacement since the allegations against Franken began surfacing.
CONFIRMED: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to succeed Sen. Al Franken and she will run for the seat herself next November, according to multiple Democrats familiar with the decision. More t/k— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) December 13, 2017
If Smith is indeed appointed, Minnesota will join California, New Hampshire, and Washington as states that have two women in the Senate. Sen. Amy Klochubar (D-MN) took office in 2007.
This story will be updated once Dayton officially makes the announcement at 11 a.m. EST.