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Associated Press, Published July 09 2009

Now an ex-senator, Coleman gets bipartisan sendoff

WASHINGTON - After welcoming Al Franken as the newest member on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate spent about an hour Thursday paying tribute to Norm Coleman as the latest to leave.

The Minnesota Republican conceded to Franken last week in their long-running Senate contest, deciding against additional appeals.

Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada described Coleman as courteous and gentlemanly in his dealings. Republican senators extolled his work ethic and sensed he would remain in politics.

Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander says Coleman "deserves an easy humdrum, conventional political race some day" after three statewide campaigns that were anything but.

Coleman hasn't publicly discussed his future plans, but they could include another run for Minnesota governor next year. He was the Republican nominee for that office in 1998.

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