Smith praised by Minnesota delegation members

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WILLMAR — Seventh District U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson and Minnesota's two senators weighed in Wednesday on Gov. Mark Dayton's pick to succeed Sen. Al Franken in the U.S. Senate.

Dayton has appointed Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith to join the Senate when Franken submits his resignation in the coming days. He is stepping down after allegations of inappropriate behavior.

In addition to praising Smith's experience, Peterson commented on her skill as a sportswoman.

In a statement from his office, Peterson said, "I've had the opportunity to get to know Lieutenant Governor Smith over the years, and she has always been attentive to issues important to Greater Minnesota.

"In addition to her experience as lieutenant governor, she is a good shot, taking a pheasant at my Pheasant Hunt. I look forward to working with her in her new role."

The Minnesota Farmers Union issued a statement that echoes Peterson's sentiment: "We are grateful for Lt. Gov. Smith's work on behalf of family farmers and rural residents and hope she will continue working for them in Washington."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar called Smith a "capable and effective leader" who was qualified to join the Senate and "hit the ground running."

Klobuchar continued: "We have a lot to get done over the next year — from strengthening our infrastructure to reducing the high cost of prescription drugs to ensuring our workers have the skills they need to get good jobs—and I look forward to working with Lieutenant Governor Smith on these critical issues."

Franken said in a statement that Smith would be an excellent senator. He praised Dayton's appointment of Smith and praised Smith's record of public service.

"She'll be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota. I look forward to working with her on ensuring a speedy and seamless transition."