Franken Praises Smith; Still No Date to Leave 14 Dec 17

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says Tina Smith will be an “excellent” U.S. senator in his place.

But Franken still isn’t setting a date when he’ll step down. Franken said last week that he would depart “in coming weeks” after he was accused by several women of improper conduct.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday appointed Smith, his lieutenant governor, to fill fellow Democrat Franken’s seat until a special election next November.

Franken issued a written statement calling Smith a “dedicated public servant” who can work across party lines. He says he’ll work with her on a fast transition.