Comedian and radio host Al Franken said he plans to run for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Minnesota. Franken will challenge incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in the 2008 election. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, no other “big name” Democrats have announced intentions to run.

Franken, a native of Minnesota, was expected to stop his radio show today.  

In a statement on his Web site, Franken says Minnesota residents have a right to be skeptical of his intentions, but that he is taking his bid seriously.

“I want you to know: nothing means more to me than making government work better for the working families of this state, and over the next twenty months I look forward to proving to you that I take these issues seriously,” he said. 

Franken also said that he also takes the issues of working families personally. He grew up with a mother and father who both worked and in a family which he calls a “hard-working middle-class” family.

“And as a middle-class kid growing up in Minnesota back then, I felt like the luckiest kid in the world,” he said.  “And I was.”

His wife Franni, whose father died in a car wreck when she was a toddler, grew up a single parent home that survived because of Social Security survivor benefits.

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