A prominent GOP leader is reportedly preparing to step down, and actively looking for his replacement. In his home state, the Kentucky senator is compiling a short list of successors.
Picking His Replacement
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is allegedly preparing for the possibility that he does not serve out his full term, according to Kentucky Republicans.
At the top of the list is McConnell’s protégé, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Under current law in Kentucky, the power to appoint McConnell’s replacement belongs to Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat. McConnell and other Kentucky Republicans want to change that.
McConnell is currently pushing new legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly which will strip the governor of that power and give it to the state GOP.
Senate Bill 228, filed on February 10, 2021, will alter the current state statute which “allows the governor to appoint a replacement in the event of a vacancy to the U.S. Senate. If the bill becomes law, the appointment to fill a vacancy will be selected from a list of three names submitted by the state executive committee of the same political party as the senator who held the vacant seat. According to the bill, the appointee from that list will then serve until a successor has been elected by voters. The legislation goes on to list instructions on when elections take place in the event of a vacancy,” according to left-wing outlet The Intercept.
Many believe that McConnell is taking these actions out of fear that the Republican Party is pushing him out. After attacking President Trump, who many conservatives see as the leader of their party, McConnell is facing censure in his home state.
The Intercept reports: “A candidate running in McConnell’s mold would face an uphill climb through a primary in the new Republican Party — unless, that is, the candidate has the benefit of incumbency.”
This is likely true, as the Republican Party has changed since the election of President Trump. It is no longer the party of the establishment, and McConnell embodies the establishment. If McConnell decided not to run again, he would likely be replaced by a more populist, Trump-supporting candidate. If McConnell gets to choose his successor, he’ll likely choose a pro-establishment candidate similar to himself, and voters will likely just check the incumbent box without a second thought when that candidate is up for re-election.