McConnell wins Senate leadership election

Posted 75 days ago


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday won re-election as Senate GOP leader, fending off a challenge from Sen. Rick Scott and setting himself up to become the longest-serving party leader in the history of the Senate.

Several senators had called for the election to be postponed. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday he would offer a motion in the Republicans' Wednesday meeting to delay it until after the Georgia runoff.

However, the effort failed and McConnell, R-Ky., beat Scott, R-Fla., to maintain his firm grip on GOP power in the Senate. With that vote, GOP senators rejected a plea from Scott to try a new direction after Republicans failed to win a Senate majority.

"I’m writing to you today because I believe it’s time for the Senate Republican Conference to be far more bold and resolute than we have been in the past. We must start saying what we are for, not just what we are against," Scott said in a letter to GOP colleagues Tuesday. "I do not believe we can simply continue to say the Democrats are radical, which they are. Republican voters expect and deserve to know our plan to promote and advance conservative values."

He added, "If you simply want to stick with the status quo, don’t vote for me."

McConnell, who has been in the Senate since the Reagan administration, flatly declared that he would keep his job.

"I have the votes. I will be elected," McConnell told reporters. "The only issue is whether we do it sooner or later."

The leadership election comes at a tense time for Republicans, who are reeling from weak midterm elections. Despite a poor economy and favorable historical trends, they took just a miniscule majority in the House and failed to win the Senate.... (Read more)