Two Democrats join the Senate, which is now split, 51-49

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Two Democrats join the Senate, which is now split, 51-49

NewsCenter 16 learned Wednesday that Minnesota Senator Smith's mother's sister lives in Etna Green and she spoke with her niece after Sen.

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, freshly sworn in Wednesday after a contentious special election against Republican Roy Moore, tapped former transportation official Dana Gresham as his chief of staff, becoming the only Senate Democrat to have a black chief of staff, according to reports.

"I am humbled and honored to stand here today, chosen by the people of Alabama to represent our state in this historic institution", Jones said.

But despite Franken's announcement amid multiple reports of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching of women, a poll by Public Policy Polling found many Minnesotans did not want Franken to resign. Smith was Minnesota's lieutenant governor and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's choice to take Franken's seat.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale is expected to join Smith at the ceremony.

While Smith may be the only Planned Parenthood alum in the upper chamber, she won't be its sole supporter.

She becomes the 22nd woman in a chamber that remains heavily lopsided in favor of men.

Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan added: "Minnesotans will be watching closely to see if Smith can attempt to govern in a bipartisan fashion, or if she will continue on as the consummate Democrat Party insider".

It may be akin to her bid for the presidency in 2012, when she said she felt a "calling" to run for the higher office. He is also Alabama's first Democratic Senator in 25 years. That experience was invoked by Jones in campaign ads and may have helped him win record support from black voters, especially African-American women, en route to his upset of Moore in the deeply conservative state. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said funding a border wall is a nonstarter for Democrats.

BAKST: Smith is 59, a New Mexico native, a wife of 33 years and a mother of two.

"As a new Member of the U.S. Senate, you have an opportunity to show your constituents that not only do their voices matter, but that their experiences and skills are vital to the work that you do to represent them", the groups wrote in the letter, obtained by the Washington Post. He would return to Alabama to work as an assistant US attorney and then began practicing criminal defense.

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