al franken

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about al franken

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Alan Stuart "Al" Franken born May 21, 1951 is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Minnesota, serving since 2009. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party, he narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman in 2008. Prior to serving in the Senate, he was a writer and performer for the television show Saturday Night Live from its conception in 1975 to 1980, returning in 1985 until 1995.

Franken declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2007 and after a close race, he trailed Coleman by 215 votes. After a statewide manual recount, required because of the closeness of the election, Franken was declared the winner by a margin of 312 votes. After an election contest and subsequent lawsuit by Coleman, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously upheld his victory on June 30, 2009 and Franken was sworn into the Senate on July 7, 2009.

Franken has been a volunteer with the United Service Organizations since he first visited Kosovo in 1999. He has conducted several overseas tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to participating in numerous celebrity handshake tours at military hospitals to visit wounded soldiers. He has done seven USO tours in total, four of which were to Iraq. On March 25, 2009, Franken was presented with the USO's-Metro Merit Award for his 10 years' involvement.

On January 6, 2009, Coleman's campaign filed an election contest, which led to a trial before a three-judge panel.The trial ended on April 7, when the panel ruled that 351 of 387 disputed absentee ballots were incorrectly rejected and ordered them counted. Counting those ballots raised Franken's lead to 312 votes. Coleman appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court on April 20.On April 24, the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.and oral arguments were conducted on June 1.

On June 30, 2009, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected Coleman's appeal and said that Franken was entitled to be certified as the winner. Shortly after the court's decision, Coleman conceded.Governor Tim Pawlenty signed Franken’s election certificate that same evening.