YURI GRIPAS / REUTERS
Last Updated Dec 28, 2017 8:06 PM EST
Sen. Al Franken is speaking to friends and supporters in Minnesota ahead of his resignation from the Senate, which he announced earlier this month amid a storm of sexual misconduct allegations. At times becoming choked up, Franken said it is the “honor of my life” to serve the people of Minnesota.
“Here is my promise to you: I may be leaving the Senate, but I am not giving up my voice,” Franken said. “We still have a lot of work to do together on issues ranging from net neutrality and climate change … and we still have to be ready to speak out for economic justice and to defend the truth.”
Franken gave tribute to late Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash in 2002.
Franken kicked off his speech by saying “I am here to thank you.” He also thanked his wife and children, who were at the speech. Franken thanked them as well as his staff.
The move came after a wave of calls for his resignation from his Democratic colleagues. Multiple women have alleged he inappropriately touched them or tried to forcibly kiss them.
“Let me be clear, I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice,” Franken said on the Senate floor. “I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist.”
He’ll officially step down on Tuesday. His successor, current Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, is set to be sworn in on Wednesday.
The former “Saturday Night Live” comedian first won his Senate seat in 2009, after a lengthy recount. He officially beat Republican Norm Coleman by 312 votes.
But support from many of his fellow Senate Democrats collapsed after the sexual misconduct allegations. Franken disputed or denied many of the accounts.
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.