Al Franken's win came quicker than many expected.
He entered the convention dogged by a growing controversy over his past writings and comments. Republicans and Democrats alike have been critical of an article Franken wrote for Playboy magazine eight years ago and a joke about rape he made during a Saturday Night Live writing session in 1995.
In remarks before the balloting, Franken tried to put the issue to rest. He told delegates he understands that some of his writing over the past 35 years was not funny, and some of it was downright offensive.
"I've had some tough conversations this week," he said. "It kills me that things I said and wrote send a message to some of my friends in this room, people in the state, that they can't count on me to be a champion for woman and for all the people of Minnesota in this campaign and in the Senate. I'm sorry for that."
DFL delegates appeared willing to ignore the controversy.
Before party officials could announce the results of the first ballot, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer announced he was dropping out. Sources said Franken won nearly 62 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for Nelson-Pallmeyer. Sixty percent was required for endorsement.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, a self-described advocate educator, urged the convention to unite behind Franken.
"We are determined that we are going change the direction of this nation, and we're going to do it in this election," he said. "We know that when we face our problems with honesty and courage we can move the country in the direction that our hopes lie."
Franken pledged he would work for the people of Minnesota, not Washington special interests. He accused Norm Coleman of selling out Minnesotans during his time in the Senate. Franken said he'll stand up to oil companies, insurance companies and drug companies.
"So to the people of Minnesota, let me say this. I'm not a perfect person, and I'm not going to pretend to have all the answers. But I will tell the truth," Franken said.
Franken said he will work to enact universal health care, to improve the economy, to address global warming and to restore U.S. standing in the world by bringing American troops home from Iraq.
Republicans were quick to criticize Franken and the DFL party for its endorsement. State GOP Chairman Ron Carey said Franken has extreme views.
"The activists here , 1,300 people, may say yes he's our guy. I don't think most Minnesotans are going to find what he stands for funny," Carey said. "And I think you're going to find an awful lot of elected officials run from him and really be embarrassed by what the DFL party did here today."
Carey says the Republican party has more material from Franken's past that it plans to release in the coming weeks. It's still unclear whether any unsatisfied Democrats, including former candidate Mike Ciresi, will attempt to challenge Franken in a primary election.