Minnesota’s governor announced his intention to appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, his former chief of staff, to fill the seat expected to be vacated by Sen. Al Franken – and she plans to run for election in November to finish out the term.

“I am resolved to do everything I can to move Minnesota forward,” Smith said Wednesday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

She promised to serve in the progressive tradition of others who have held the seat, including Sens. Paul Wellstone, Eugene McCarthy and Walter Mondale, to make a “better, more inclusive and just future for all of us.”

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said he had made the decision after talking to only one person in Washington not in his state’s delegation, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who he said did not suggest a replacement. In a year that has seen a dramatic spike in political engagement among women, Smith would become the 22nd woman to serve in the Senate.

A New Mexico native, graduate of Stanford University and former vice president of a regional Planned Parenthood, Smith has long been a rising star in Minnesota politics.

She served as chief of staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback, before managing his failed bid for governor in 2010. She later helped Dayton’s successful campaign and became his chief of staff when he won. She was elected lieutenant governor in 2014.

Franken, who has faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment, announced last week that he would resign his office “in the coming weeks,” but has not set a date. Smith said she expected to take office in “early January.”

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