Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith as the next U.S. senator to represent Minnesota in Congress.
Smith, a Democrat, will take the place of U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who said last week he plans to resign in the midst of a growing sexual harassment scandal. Under state law, Smith will serve in Washington at least through 2018. There will be a special election in November 2018, when Minnesota voters will have a chance to weigh in on who should take Franken’s place for the remainder of his term, which expires in 2020.
“Tina Smith is a person of the highest integrity and ability,” Dayton said. “There is no one I trust more to assume the responsibilities of this important office.”
And as I mentioned last week (via an article from CNBC) that could be good for broadband…
“Tina has focused on building an economy that works for all Minnesotans — championing issues including rural broadband internet access, expanding access to early learning and supporting statewide job creation,” her bio page reads.
Franken has been a loud voice for broadband-related issues, calling Net Neutrality the First Amendment of our time and just last week pressing the FCC Chair to delay the vote to repeal Net Neutrality. Smith has spent her time learning about broadband from the front-lines – in Bemidji to see Paul Bunyan, to hear from consumers such as Jennie-O in Kandiyohi, meeting with Minnesota State Broadband grant recipients. Last week, when announcing the most recent round of broadband grants she recognized the importance of equitable access to broadband across the state…
“It’s not fair when almost 20 percent of Greater Minnesota households don’t have the same high-speed internet connections as their friends and family in the cities,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “The grants we are announcing today will help level the playing field and expand educational, health and job opportunities for thousands of Minnesotans. We have made important progress, but too many Minnesotans still lack access to the promise of the 21st Century. We must do more to ensure border-to-border high-speed internet access across Minnesota.”