Former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says he won't run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the New York Democratic primary, Politico reports.
Just last month, Franken had told The Republican that he is "keeping my options open" on whether to run for public office again after moving to New York earlier this year.
Several sources told Politico that Franken, who resigned his seat at the beginning of 2018 following accusations of sexual misconduct, had been conferring with confidantes about entering the primary against Gillibrand in 2024.
But Franken’s spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff said "he has no intention of running for Senate," which she later narrowed down to a statement from Franken that "Yes, I miss the Senate but I’m not going to run against Kirsten Gillibrand."
The former Minnesota senator continiues to be upset over fellow Democrat Gillibrand pressuring him to resign at the height of the #MeToo movement, sources told Politico, and many say that the New York senator is vulnerable to a primary.
Gillibrand’s favorability in the state is only 44 percent, according to a Sienna poll released last month.
New York political strategist Chris Coffey added that "New Yorkers love larger-than-life characters," telling Politico that "if he runs, he’ll be a serious candidate. Al Franken likely has higher name ID in most parts of New York state than Sen. Gillibrand."
Gillibrand "is not exactly cool as a cucumber about speculation" that Franken could run against her, sources told Politico, but Franken’s chief of staff Jess Fassler denied that, saying "the only thing she’s worried about right now is getting family leave into the Build Back Better package."
Franken, who was a founding writer and later cast member on the "Saturday Night Live" television program before he was elected to the Senate in 2008, began a comedy tour called "The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour" last month, according to The Hill.
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Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
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