Al Franken Chokes Up Honoring 'Loyal' Wife of 42 Years as He Prepares to Step Down from Senate

Sen. Al Franken emotionally thanked wife Franni Bryson in a speech on Thursday evening: "I can never thank her enough for her love and support"

Senator Al Franken takes part in a mock swearing-in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber, Washington DC, America - 07 Jul 2009
Photo: Ron Sachs/REX/Shutterstock

Sen. Al Franken nearly broke down in tears while talking about his wife of over 40 years, Franni Bryson, as he addressed supporters in Minneapolis Thursday evening in his first public appearance in his home state since announcing his resignation due to sexual harassment allegations made against him.

“There are a lot of people here tonight that I want to thank, but I have to start with Franni,” he told the cheering crowd.

“Politics is a hard job,” he continued. “I don’t know how anyone manages to do it without being married to someone who is so loyal, so selfless, so tough, so caring. Frankly, I don’t know how anyone manages to do it without being married to Franni … Franni has been by my side during every step of this journey, just as she has been throughout our 42 years of marriage.”

Franken then choked up as he said, “Whatever it is that we do next, we will do it together. While I can never thank her enough for her love and support, I am willing to spend the rest of my life trying, honey.”

Franken also thanked his constituents and supporters, both in Thursday’s speech and on social media.

“Working on behalf of the people of Minnesota has been the honor of my life and I could not have done this without the help of my family, friends, and supporters. Thank you,” Franken captioned his live video feed on Facebook.

The speech comes just three days after he shared a festive shot of himself with his family on Christmas morning.

Franken announced his resignation in early December in an emotional appearance on the Senate floor.

Sexual Misconduct Franken, Washington, USA - 07 Dec 2017

Franken has been accused of inappropriately touching seven women, including Leeann Tweeden, a morning news anchor on KABC radio in Los Angeles, who alleged last month that Franken groped and forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in 2006 before he became a senator. Tweeden, who released a photo of the former Saturday Night Live star apparently grabbing her breasts while she was sleeping, said she accepted Franken’s subsequent apology and didn’t think he had to step down.

But as more women came forward with misconduct allegations against Franken, the Senate Ethics Committee launched an investigation into the second-term senator.

A seventh woman, a former Democratic congressional aide, alleged that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006. Franken, who has been married to his wife since 1975, has repeatedly apologized for his inappropriate behavior, which he said was unintentional but “crossed a line” for some women.

He has also said that “some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently.”

Minnesota Supreme Court Certifies Al Franken As Winner Of Senate Race
Jeffrey Thompson/Getty Images

A poll conducted by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed Franken remains popular in his home state with 50 percent of Minnesota voters thinking he shouldn’t have resigned.

Franken, who has been a Minnesota senator since 2009, officially resigns from his post on Jan. 2.

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