UPDATE: Franken says he's leaving Senate but not giving up voice

(Image Source: Office of Sen. Al Franken / Pixabay / MGN)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Outgoing U.S. Sen. Al Franken says he may be leaving office, but he's not giving up his voice.

The Minnesota Democrat thanked supporters and friends in Minneapolis Thursday night as his eight years in the Senate are set to come to an end. The former "Saturday Night Live" comedian said he didn't know what to expect when he first ran for office, "and of course, neither did Minnesotans."

Franken thanked his wife, Franni, their family and his staff as well as Minnesota's senior senator, Democrat Amy Klobuchar. He said he still feels like "the luckiest kid in the world."

Franken announced his plans to resign earlier this month amid a string of sexual misconduct allegations. He'll officially step down on Tuesday. His successor, current Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, is set to be sworn in on Wednesday.
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Sen. Al Franken is meeting with supporters and friends in Minnesota before he officially resigns.

The Democrat planned to attend an event Thursday night in Minneapolis to thank supporters and friends after his eight years in the Senate. Media outlets were expected to be allowed to attend part of the event.

Franken announced his plans to resign earlier this month amid a storm of sexual misconduct allegations. He'll officially step down on Tuesday. His successor, current Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, is set to be sworn in on Wednesday.

The former "Saturday Night Live" comedian first won his Senate seat in 2009, after a lengthy recount. He officially beat Republican Norm Coleman by 312 votes.

But support from many of his fellow Senate Democrats collapsed after the sexual misconduct allegations. Franken disputed or denied many of the accounts.

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