Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who had unexpectedly declared his ambition to be the Republican’s leader in the Senate the day before, lost out to Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Wednesday even though Republicans failed to take the Senate’s majority in the midterm elections.
According to The Hill, Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, received just 10 votes from Republican senators.
With 37 votes from his fellow Republican senators and one abstention, McConnell maintained a commanding lead.
It was a secret ballot, so no one knows who voted for whom, according to the Washington Times.
The victory gives McConnell the Republican majority in the Senate for an additional two years, enabling him to exceed Montana Democrat Mike Mansfield, who served as party leader from 1961 to 1977, as the longest-serving party leader in the Senate’s history, according to the New York Post.
Since 2007, McConnell has served as the Republican Party’s leader.
The Kentucky senator hadn’t faced a challenge in 15 years before Scott’s surprise and last-minute bid for McConnell’s leadership post, according to Axios.
The spat between McConnell and Scott erupted after the “two had been engaged in a public tit-for-tat over who was responsible for last Tuesday’s election results,” in which the Republicans were unable to achieve the “red wave” that some had hoped for and only managed to win 49 seats in the Senate.
Tuesday’s lengthy Senate Republican Conference meeting was followed, according to The Hill, by Scott expressing a desire for leadership.
But McConnell prevailed by a wide margin.
“We collectively, I think, had a good discussion about what happened in the election and what happens in the next election. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve,” McConnell reportedly remarked, as reported by The Hill.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas proposed a motion to postpone the vote for the minority leader till after the Dec. 6 Georgia Senate second round of voting, but it was rejected by 32 senators while receiving only 16 votes in favor, according to Axios. The motion was made in response to the sudden contest between Scott and McConnell.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
Meanwhile, as the Senate organizes itself after the midterms, other Republican senators took different roles of leadership in the party.
Montana Sen. Steve Daines replaced Scott in his role as the NRSC chairman, Axios reported.
Both Sen. John Thune (South Dakota) and John Barrasso (Wyoming) were re-elected to their respective positions as minority whip and conference chair, Axios reported.
West Virginia’s Sen. Shelley Moore Capito became the Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, as she announced on Twitter. CONTINUE READING…