WASHINGTON (AP) -- After urging interim Sen. Dean Barkley to step down early to give him a seniority advantage, Sen.-elect Norm Coleman now says it won't make a difference.
Coleman, a Minnesota Republican, said he learned from Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott's office that Minnesota won't significantly benefit from him taking office earlier than other freshmen senators.
"While I am eager to begin serving the people of Minnesota, it appears that an earlier swearing in will not give any added seniority for Minnesota," Coleman said in a statement.
Last week, Coleman said he'd get a seniority edge for committee assignments if he was sworn in a day ahead of other new senators, and he planned to discuss that with Barkley and Gov. Jesse Ventura to see what they could work out.
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