John Cornyn Running for Mitch McConnell’s Leadership Position

John Cornyn Running for Mitch McConnell's Leadership Position

( – Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has become the first senator to announce his bid to replace Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who recently announced he’s leaving his role as GOP leader in the Senate in November. McConnell still plans to finish out his term in the Senate, which ends in 2027.

Cornyn announced his candidacy to a few other senators on February 29, just one day after McConnell announced he would be stepping down. He claims that he has the experience needed after serving two terms as McConnell’s number two in the Senate.

Cornyn previously served as an attorney general in Texas. He was first elected as a senator in 2002. He rose through the ranks quickly, eventually earning a prominent position in the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is also among the best known members of the GOP conference and has helped the party raise millions of dollars in funding. He has already raised $13 million for Republicans running for Senate in 2024.

In a statement, he said that he would like to improve communication among senators if elected to the position. He claimed that his “track record of listening” and “seeking consensus” among fellow lawmakers supports his ability to fulfill that goal. He also said that he wants to give more consideration to individual spending bills rather than treat them as combined deals. He believes that will help improve efficiency while ensuring that every Senator has a voice in legislation.

John Thune, who currently holds the position second to McConnell, said his replacement will have “big shoes to fill,” according to AP News. On March 4, Thune made his plans to succeed McConnell official as well.

McConnell’s announcement comes in the midst of growing concerns about his health. He notably froze during two interviews in 2023. It took his aides several seconds to help him recover during both occasions.

It also comes just weeks after other prominent Republicans called on him to step down. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and several of his colleagues slammed McConnell supporting a bipartisan border security bill that was designed to address some of the GOP’s concerns about immigration while providing aid for countries like Ukraine and Israel. McConnell has also been frequently referred to as a “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) by both GOP colleagues and constituents during his twenty-year tenure.

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