HomeNewsMcConnell re-elected Senate GOP leader, defeating a challenge from Rick Scott

McConnell re-elected Senate GOP leader, defeating a challenge from Rick Scott

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell was re-elected as Republican chief on Wednesday, defeating a problem from Sen. Rick Scott of Florida that displays rising angst inside the celebration after it underperformed within the midterm elections.

The key-ballot victory was confirmed by McConnell spokesman David Popp, with Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., telling reporters that 37 Republicans voted for McConnell whereas 10 supported Scott and one senator voted “current.” The vote got here after the convention rejected a movement by McConnell’s dissenters to delay the management election, which 16 Republicans voted for, in line with two sources.

The McConnell-Scott battle represents a bigger conflict over the course and governing imaginative and prescient of the celebration, with the 2 males providing conflicting theories on why the GOP did not win Senate seats within the midterms, with Democrats clinching the bulk. It’s the most severe problem McConnell has confronted for his place after main the Republican caucus for 15 years.

“I imagine it’s time for the Senate Republican Convention to be much more daring and resolute than we’ve been previously,” Scott, who chaired the GOP Senate marketing campaign arm throughout the 2022 cycle, stated in a letter asking for members’ votes Tuesday. “We should begin saying what we’re for, not simply what we’re in opposition to. I don’t imagine we are able to merely proceed to say the Democrats are radical, which they’re. Republican voters anticipate and need to know our plan to advertise and advance conservative values.”

McConnell supplied a special prognosis of the Republican losses, attributing them to poor candidates and chaotic habits inside the celebration that he stated “frightened” independents and reasonable voters.

He advised reporters Tuesday that he welcomed the problem, voicing confidence that he could be re-elected.

“I don’t personal this job. Anyone within the convention is actually entitled to problem me,” McConnell stated. “I welcome the competition.”

McConnell is now on observe to turn out to be the longest-serving Senate caucus chief in historical past. Scott chaired the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee throughout the 2022 cycle, which resulted in disappointment after the celebration failed to achieve the one seat it wanted to seize management of the chamber.

Earlier than Wednesday’s management vote, Braun stated he’d again Scott as a result of he believes it’s time for a change.

“I’m going to vote for one thing that’s going to vary the present dynamic that we’re in,” Braun stated. “That possibility is represented by Rick Scott presently.”

Scott’s problem has rankled some within the Republican caucus, who attribute the 2022 defeats to his dealing with of the NRSC.

“Rick Scott should actually like to lose,” griped one Senate GOP aide.

Scott and McConnell have lengthy feuded over technique and imaginative and prescient for the Republican caucus. McConnell has lengthy been the topic of ire from former President Donald Trump, who has campaigned aggressively to oust him as chief.

Tensions ran excessive on Wednesday as quite a few Republicans had no real interest in getting in the midst of the conflict. Amongst them was Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who advised reporters asking in regards to the management contest, “No habla ingles.”

Throughout a prolonged closed-door GOP assembly Tuesday, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, questioned administration of the NRSC’s funds.

“I raised some questions on the sum of money that had been raised and allotted on this cycle versus different cycles and — and simply query the variations,” she stated.

Scott launched an announcement Wednesday responding to requires an audit of the NRSC’s cash practices, saying that the committee “has carried out an annual impartial audit yearly since not less than 2014” and that he realized of “a whole bunch of hundreds of {dollars} in unauthorized and improper bonuses” despatched to workers after the Republicans misplaced the bulk in 2020.

“When that’s your place to begin, you’re employed actually exhausting to ensure there are clear processes and we’re more than pleased to take a seat down with any member of the caucus to stroll them via our spending,” Scott stated.

Ryan Nobles and Kate Santaliz contributed.

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