Tina Smith To Replace Disgraced Sen. Al Franken

Al Franken

Smith was appointed to replace Al Franken, who resigned last week after weeks of allegations of sexual misconduct.

The political action committee, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, will work with Smith's campaign in an advisory role and introduce her to its national donor network. "I know that she will be a superb senator, representing the best interests of our state and our citizens".

"Every community is different and my job is to take all of those issues and bring them here to Washington, D.C.", said Smith.

For Smith's part, she responded to news of her senate invitation by stating, "I accept this appointment, and it will be my great honor to serve Minnesota as United States senator. And I believe the best way to do that is to be the best senator that I can be".

Smith said she never anticipated or expected to find herself in the position of US senator, but promises to be "the best United States senator that I can be so I can really hit the ground running".

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"One of the first decisions I made was to keep much of Senator Franken's staff in the Senate, which is very important".

Senator smith addressed issues she wants to focus on while in Washington, from paid parental leave to maintaining roads.

Less than a week after becoming a member of the Senate, Smith has started meeting people across the state to learn about what they think she needs to be working on. With a GOP majority across Washington she says she realizes it will be hard to accomplish certain things. She's also set to present a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol to Hibbing Fire Chief Erik Jankila, in honor of retired Hibbing Fire Capt. Steven Gillitzer, who died in a December 26 fire along with his wife and two of his grandsons; Gillitzer rescued another grandson and died while attempting to save the others.

Camerota was pleasantly surprised talking to a "newbie" and hearing an optimistic point of view from a member of Congress that was not yet jaded by the politics on Capitol Hill.

Smith also will meet with local officials in Mountain Iron to discuss the expansion of rural broadband service.

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