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December 07, 2017 10:00 PM

Minnesotans React To Franken's Resignation

US Senator Al Franken announced his resignation today, during a wave of complaints of sexual misconduct.

In his home state of Minnesota, reaction to his announcement has been mixed. The Minnesota Democrat was under intense pressure to step down, faced with a growing list of women accusing him of sexual misconduct.

"In the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the US Senate," Franken said today on the Senate floor.

Minnesotans are used to change. 

In 2008 when Franken was first running for Senate, he made a campaign stop in Luverne at the Coffee Haus.  

The Coffee Haus is no longer serving customers and now Franken will no longer serve Minnesotans.  

"I think I was more disappointed than shocked, Brian Sterling said. 

Sterling owns Sterling's Cafe and Grill.   

He says Franken did the right thing by apologizing and stepping down.  He only wishes he would use this as a moment to turn something negative into a positive. 

"Maybe stand up and say 'I was one of these people who did that and from what happened and what I've learned I'm going to make a stand and help women and men not have to go through sexual harassment," Sterling said. 

Sterling says in the restaurant industry sexual harassment is somewhat prevalent too, but it's not tolerated at his place. 

"It's a big part of our training in our handbook, when we hire new employees we go through the handbook; harassment is the number one right between safety measures and health things," Sterling said. 

At a beauty salon in Luverne, clients are unsure of what to think. 

"We really don't know if he did what they say he did," Loretta Spaar said. 

Owner Felicia Hanson is glad he stepped down, but also says Franken didn't cut it as a Senator. 

"I don't think he really knew what was going on with the health care crisis, because I was losing employees because they had to go find places to work, because they needed insurance," Hanson said. 

Now they wonder what Franken will do next. 

"I'm thinking he's probably washed up, I don't know what he's going to do with the rest of his life," Spaar said. 

Minnesota's Democratic Governor will pick someone to fill Franken's seat until a special election next year. 

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