Following what many Republicans view as a disappointing midterm cycle, the Senate GOP Caucus held elections for leadership posts Wednesday.
Despite a last-minute challenge mounted by U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), former chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was re-elected as the chamber’s highest-ranking GOP lawmaker.
McConnell reportedly received 37 votes to remain in his leadership post, with 10 members favoring Scott and one senator voting present.
In reaction to the caucus elections, U.S. Sen.-elect Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) praised the minority party’s debate and asserted that the “spirited” discussions would benefit the GOP and nation as a whole.
“Our incoming freshman class of Republican senators represents the kind of fresh blood needed to help get our country back on the right track, and I’m going to bring that perspective to our caucus every single day,” said Britt in a statement. “I believe that having this spirited internal debate on how we can best fight to put American families first and defend our conservative values is good for our party and good for our country.”
While Democrats will retain control of the upper chamber, Republicans are hopeful they can add a new member to its ranks in Georgia GOP U.S. Senate nominee Herschel Walker. According to Britt, Senate Republicans should shift their “full focus” to ensuring Walker’s election.
“Now, it’s time to move forward together as a united front determined to do everything in our power to stop President Biden and his congressional allies from crushing hardworking Alabamians and Americans even further,” she said. “The first step, and where our full focus must be, is helping Herschel Walker win in Georgia.”
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), who openly backed McConnell for another term as minority leader, compared caucus disagreements to discussions that take place between a football coach and his staff.
Noting that he did not always agree with the GOP leader, Tuberville praised McConnell for his role in confirming conservatives to the nation’s judiciary.
“Obviously he got a lot of judges confirmed, three confirmed in the Supreme Court,” Vox reported Tuberville as saying. “Leadership roles are hard and you got 49 different personalities in there that everybody wants to do it their way, you’re herding cats.”
Following the elections, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, announced that U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) will continue to serve the caucus as whip.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) will replace Scott as chairman of the NRSC, which is the party’s campaign arm.
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL