Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Al Franken in the Senate

(CNN) -- Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has been selected to replace Al Franken in the Senate.

Watch: Al Franken announces resignation

Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday morning, December 13th that Smith has been appointed to the position.

"Though I never anticipated this moment," Smith said, "I am resolved to do everything I can to move Minnesota forward, and I will be a fierce advocate in the United States Senate for the economic opportunity and fairness."

"This is a difficult moment for us. But even now, I am filled with optimism for Minnesota," she added.

The announcement comes following Franken's December 7 decision to resign from office over allegations that he touched women inappropriately.