Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) reportedly plans to take Mitch McConnell’s spot as the GOP’s leader in the Senate, a role the senator from Kentucky has held since 2007.
Scott announced his challenge to McConnell during a closed-door party lunch Tuesday afternoon following worse-than-expected midterm election results for Republicans, POLITICO reported.
McConnell has said he is “of course” confident he will be re-elected Senate leader in a vote expected to take place Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. But Scott told POLITICO before the lunch that “a lot of people have suggested I run.”
Former President Donald Trump said Scott would be a better leader than McConnell during a recent call-in to former Fox News host Glenn Beck’s Blaze Media show.
As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Scott leads efforts to elect Republican senators, and disagreed with a McConnell-aligned super PAC on matters of spending and candidate quality in this election cycle, POLITICO reported.
Most Republican senators want to vote on Wednesday, but a significant minority wants to delay, as some Senate races are still undecided and some say the party could use more time to assess what kept an anticipated “red wave” from materializing in the midterm elections, POLITICO reported.
“Part of the reason we should delay the election is to have a real and meaningful discussion within the conference,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), adding McConnell had a “failed leadership strategy” favorable to Democrats.
The chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), said there will be no delay, POLITICO reported. And Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the party’s minority whip, said a delay wouldn’t have any effect on the outcome.
“The elections always occur at the same time,” Thune said, adding that both of Georgia’s Senate seats were undecided when leaders were elected in 2020.