According to Politico, Senate Republicans will have a leadership vote on Nov. 16 to decide if Sen. Mitch McConnell (GOP-KY) will remain the Senate’s top GOP member.
McConnell has declared that he intends to remain the Republican leader, which would allow his senior lieutenants to keep their jobs. Senator John Thune (R-SD) is expected to remain Senate whip, while Senator John Barrasso (R-KY) will serve as chair of the Senate Republican Conference.
Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) is anticipated to succeed Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) as chairman of the National GOP Senatorial Committee. The NRSC, chaired by Scott, defended 21 GOP-controlled seats up for election, while Dems only had 14 to defend. Republicans could retake the Senate by one seat if they win Senate races in Georgia and Nevada.
If McConnell is re-elected as Senate leader, the next chairman of the NRSC will have to deal with McConnell’s leadership.
“I believe Senator McConnell will be re-elected as Republican conference leader. And I support him,” Barrasso said of McConnell’s leadership prospects. “If you wish to run for something like that, you have to step up and announce you’re going to run. And I’ve heard nothing about any challenges to the current leadership.”
Not all Republican senators support his reelection as Senate Republican leader. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) announced this week that he does not support McConnell.
“I don’t think I will,” Hawley replied. “I’m not sure whether any other senator will run.” Nobody has indicated that they will. But, in my opinion, we need new leadership in that role.”
A number of Republican Senate candidates have spoken out against McConnell, although many of them did not win their contests or the races are still unclear.
During the midterm elections, some questioned McConnell’s leadership choices. The McConnell-supported super PAC defunded the candidates Blake Masters from Arizona and Gen. Don Bolduc of New Hampshire while spending $9 million to support pro-impeachment Sen. Lisa Murkowski against opponent Kelly Tshibaka.
The races in Arizona and New Hampshire have yet to be decided. Sen. Maggie Hassan defeated Gen. Bolduc on Tuesday (D-NH). Because of the state’s ranked vote choice system, it appears Murkowski will defeat Tshibaka.
Senator Scott has been mentioned as a possible replacement for McConnell. Scott is said to have the backing of former President Donald Trump. Scott has not publicly stated his desire in the position as the midterm elections approach.
Author: Blake Ambrose