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Tim Pawlenty: I won't run for Al Franken/Tina Smith U.S. Senate seat

Tim Pawlenty talks to about 75 Iowans, and one Missourian, during an Ottumwa, Iowa, campaign stop. Tim Pawlenty talks to about 75 Republicans during a July 24, 2011, Ottumwa, Iowa, campaign stop. He spoke for about half an hour and answered questions for the same amount of time. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

ST. PAUL — Former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not run for the U.S. Senate in November.

Pawlenty, who has been courted by numerous donors and influential Republicans to run for the seat formerly held by Al Franken, made his announcement on the Fox Business Network Tuesday, Jan. 16.

"I am very interested in public service and service for the common good," Pawlenty said on air. "There are a lot of different ways to do that, but I'll tell you today that running for the United States Senate in 2018 won't be part of those plans."

After Franken resigned amid allegations from multiple women of inappropriate sexual conduct, Gov. Mark Dayton appointed his lieutenant governor, Tina Smith to fill the vacancy.

Smith, a Democrat, has announced she'll run in November to serve out the remainder of Franken's term.

On the Republican side, state Sen. Karin Housley of St. Mary's Point has announced she'll run in November.

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