ROCHESTER, MINN. — Al Franken won a resounding endorsement for the U.S. Senate on Saturday from Minnesota Democrats, quickly addressing concerns about jokes that offend some people and promising a tough challenge to Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
"To the people of Minnesota, let me say this: I'm not a perfect person," said Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" writer and performer. "I'm not going to pretend to have all the answers. But I'll tell the truth, I will keep my spine, and I will work for you."
Franken's only competitor, professor and peace activist Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, withdrew after Franken passed the necessary 60% threshold on the first ballot. Nelson-Pallmeyer asked that the delegates unanimously back Franken.
Franken's show of strength came as something of a surprise after a rocky few weeks in which he was criticized for a racy column he wrote for Playboy in 2000, along with other material attributed to him.