Following Sen. Al Franken's resignation announcement amid sexual misconduct allegations, Republicans and Democrats are hunting for top-tier candidates to run for the Senate seat, NBC News reported.
Franken's seat wasn't supposed to be up for grabs until 2020, but his resignation will set up a 2018 special election in Minnesota.
The unexpected opening could be a "total game-changer in terms of control of the Senate," said Republican strategist Alex Conant, a Minnesota native.
Conant said former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the dream candidate for the GOP.
The Democratic bench in Minnesota, meanwhile, is deep, as the party holds all of the partisan statewide elected offices.