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Franken makes first public appearance in Minn. since announcing resignation

By
Ray Downs
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., joined by his wife Franni, walks to the Senate Chambers to deliver his resignation speech, at the U.S. Capitol on December 7. On Thursday, he made his first public appearance in his home state since the resignation announcement. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., joined by his wife Franni, walks to the Senate Chambers to deliver his resignation speech, at the U.S. Capitol on December 7. On Thursday, he made his first public appearance in his home state since the resignation announcement. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., made his first public appearance in his home state since announcing his resignation due to allegations of sexual misconduct and promised he'd continue his effort to fight for issues he believes in.

"Here's my promise to you," he told a crowd of about 300 people in Minneapolis, the Star-Tribune reported. "I may be leaving the Senate, but I'm not giving up my voice. We still have a lot of work to do together on issues ranging from net neutrality to climate change."

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Franken added: "One of the hardest things about leaving this job will be not getting to work alongside you every day, but I cannot wait to see what you do next."

According to NBC News, Franken choked up when he mentioned his wife, Franni Bryson.

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"Whatever it is that we do next we will do it together," Franken said. "While I can never thank her enough for her love and support, I am willing to spend the rest of my life trying, honey."

On Dec. 6, fellow Democratic senators called on Franken to resign after several women accused Franken of groping and lewd behavior.

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"The women who have come forward are brave and I believe them," said Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

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Franken announced his resignation the next day but denied the accusations.

"Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others, I remember very differently," he said in his resignation speech.

Franken is scheduled to resign on Jan. 2 and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton chose Lieutenant Gov. Tina Smith to replace him.

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Franken on Thursday described Smith as a "friend" who is "worthy of the incredible support that I've received."

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