ST. PAUL, Minn. — From the start of former Sen. Al Franken's downfall, the focus has been on women: First on the women who accused him of sexual misconduct, and now on the two women running to replace him.
Democratic Sen. Tina Smith and Republican state Sen. Karin Housley are the front runners in a special election to finish Franken's term. Franken resigned in January.
A record number of women are running for Congress and governorships, but no race is more emblematic of the #MeToo movement than the surprise Senate election in Minnesota.
Smith was appointed to fill Franken's seat, and Housley quickly launched a bid. But no prominent men in Minnesota politics followed.
National Democratic political strategist Celinda Lake says there's a clear pattern that men in Minnesota decided not to run this year.