WASHINGTON (AP) - Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is resigning amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations.
Once a rising star in the Democratic Party, Franken made the announcement in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor.
The two-term lawmaker has repeatedly apologized as several women stepped forward to accuse him of sexually inappropriate behavior, from groping to forcibly trying to kiss them.
But a fresh allegation on Wednesday unleashed a torrent of Democratic demands that Franken step aside. Female senators led the chorus.
Franken is an actor who appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and an author who narrowly won his Senate seat in 2008 after a prolonged vote count. He has been a fierce opponent of the Trump administration.
His political fall has been swift by congressional standards. The first allegation surfaced on Nov. 16.
Minnesota Republicans are reaching out to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty about running in a race to replace Sen. Al Franken.
Franken says he is resigning after accusations by several women of sexual misconduct. That sets up a November 2018 election to serve the final two years of his term.
Republicans have also identified former Sen. Norm Coleman as a possible candidate.
Coleman has already posted on his personal Facebook page that he won't run. He narrowly lost to Franken in 2008 in a close election that included a monthslong vote count.
Pawlenty ran for president in 2012.
Sen. Al Franken says he's been an advocate for women. That's even as he resigns amid a torrent of sexual misconduct accusations.
The Minnesota Democrat says he's used his position "to be a champion of women." He says despite the allegations, "I know who I really am."
He says, "Even on the worst day of my political life, I feel like it's all been worth it."
Franken is serving his ninth year as senator. He says he'll resign in the coming weeks.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he hasn't decided on a replacement for Al Franken.
Franken says he'll step down in the coming weeks. He's facing allegations of sexual misconduct from several women.
The Democratic governor says he expects to make and announce his decision in the next couple of days. Whomever he names will serve until a special the election in November to complete the remainder of Franken's term through 2020.
Democratic senators, staff and family members were somber yet emotional as they watched Minnesota Sen. Al Franken say he would resign.
Franken's family members sat in the Senate gallery, some of them crying. Staff lined up in the back of the chamber, stone faced. And around 18 Democratic senators quietly listened to his speech on the floor. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona was also there.
Democrats who sat and listened to Franken's speech included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the first to call Wednesday for Franken to resign.
Franken was facing multiple sexual misconduct allegations. After his 11 minute speech, Democrats lined up to hug him.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says he'll resign in the coming weeks. He's repeatedly apologized as several women accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior, and as his support from fellow Democrats evaporated.
The Minnesota lawmaker took to the Senate floor to say, "I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice." He says he'll addressing issues as an activist.
Franken says he can't go through a Senate Ethics Committee investigation and effectively represent his state at the same time.
In remarks that lasted 11 minutes, he said that, thanks to his family, "I'm going to be just fine."
He says some charges against him are untrue and that he remembers other differently than his accusers do. But he says women "deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously."