On Thursday (December 7) Democratic Senator Al Franken announced he will resign amid mounting accusations of sexual assault and harassment. Franken said he will be leaving the Senate in the coming weeks. 

Once he officially resigns, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton will have appoint somebody to fill his seat until November, when a special election will be held to determine who will fill the seat for the remaining two years of his term. 

According to a report by the Star Tribune, Dayton is likely to tap Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill the seat until November. Politco reports that Smith has no desire to stay in Congress, and would likely not run for the seat in the special election in November 2018. That would create an open primary for the Democratic seat, and allow candidates to run on a level playing field, instead of one candidate having the power of being the incumbent.