Texas Senator Cornyn to Run for GOP Senate Leader as Race to Replace McConnell Commences

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Texas Sen. John Cornyn has announced his intention to run for Senate Republican leader, making him the first senator to do so after Sen. Mitch McConnell’s decision to step down in November.

Cornyn, who previously served as McConnell’s No. 2 in leadership before being term-limited out of the position five years ago, highlighted his experience in that role in a statement to fellow senators. He also emphasized the need for change, stating, “I believe the Senate is broken — that is not news to anyone.”

“From my experience, I have learned what works and what doesn’t work in the Senate,” Cornyn said. “I am confident that Senate Republicans can restore our institution to its essential role in our constitutional republic.”

Speculation has been circulating that Cornyn, along with South Dakota Sen. John Thune and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, known as the “three Johns,” would compete to replace McConnell. McConnell’s unexpected announcement that he will not run again for leader has accelerated the campaign nearly nine months before the anticipated gathering of GOP senators to select a new leader.

Cornyn, who has been in the Senate since 2002, is a respected member of the GOP conference and has shown an ability to bridge divides within the caucus. He is also known for his fundraising efforts and his bipartisan work on legislation.

In his statement, Cornyn emphasized his track record of seeking consensus and fighting against harmful policies, while also addressing the need for better communication and inclusivity within the Senate Republican leadership.

Thune and Barrasso have not officially announced their campaigns for the leadership position but have not ruled out running. The race for leader is expected to unfold behind closed doors over the next several months.

The sudden scramble for the next leader comes amid increasing criticism of McConnell from within his own party, with calls for new leadership echoing throughout the GOP. McConnell’s support for certain policies and his disagreements with former President Trump have fueled the desire for a change in leadership.

The selection of a new Senate Republican leader is a significant decision for the party, and the coming months will likely see intense campaigning and discussions among senators as they evaluate the candidates.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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