On January 2, Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) was sworn in to replace former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who resigned in December 2017. Her swearing-in increases the number of women serving in the Senate to 22 and in the 115th Congress to 111. Eighty-nine women currently serve in the House of Representatives, including Delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Sen. Smith previously served as Lieutenant Governor in Minnesota under Gov. Mark Dayton (D), a position she held since 2015. She also served as chief of staff to Gov. Dayton and to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, and was a top advisor to former Vice President Walter Mondale. A former marketing executive at General Mills, Sen. Smith addressed the opioid crisis and economic development as Lt. Gov. She is expected to focus on paid family leave, child care, and rural broadband access, among other issues, in the Senate.
Minnesota is now the fourth state to have an all-female Senate delegation; the others are California, New Hampshire, and Washington.