ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he's considering running for Sen. Al Franken's U.S. Senate seat.

The Republican governor and one-time presidential candidate insisted Friday that he's still "politically retired." But Pawlenty would be a prized recruit in 2018 for Republicans hoping to capitalize on Franken's resignation amid a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations.

Pawlenty became the last Republican to win a statewide election in Minnesota when he won his second term in 2006. And he considered running for Senate before he decided to run for governor.

He says Franken's resignation has forced him and others to think about how to improve the state and nation. He spoke after addressing a local Chamber of Commerce event.

Franken announced on Thursday he would resign in the coming weeks.