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Franken Exit Could Be Game-Changer for Control of Senate

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    Franken Exit Could Be Game-Changer for Control of Senate
    AP/Andrew Harnik
    Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday morning, Dec. 7, 2017. Franken said he will resign from the Senate in coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and a collapse of support from his Democratic colleagues, a swift political fall for a once-rising Democratic star.

    Following Sen. Al Franken's resignation announcement amid sexual misconduct allegations, Republicans and Democrats are hunting for top-tier candidates to run for the Senate seat, NBC News reported. 

    Franken's seat wasn't supposed to be up for grabs until 2020, but his resignation will set up a 2018 special election in Minnesota. 

    The unexpected opening could be a "total game-changer in terms of control of the Senate," said Republican strategist Alex Conant, a Minnesota native. 

    Conant said former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the dream candidate for the GOP.

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    The Democratic bench in Minnesota, meanwhile, is deep, as the party holds all of the partisan statewide elected offices.