Rick Scott enters the race to replace Mitch McConnell

by Natalie Tomiello

Photo: Alamy

The race to replace Mitch McConnell as Senate GOP Leader expanded this week with an announcement from Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., that he will seek the leadership position.

McConnell announced the end of his tenure as Senate leader in February. He plans to step down in November, leaving the leadership position open to be filled by another Republican.

McConnell’s term as the leader of his party in the Senate is the longest in history.

Scott joins a three-way race that includes Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and John Cornyn, R-Texas. Although all three are viewed as conservatives, Scott has indicated his approach to leadership would be different than that of his opponents.

He has presented himself as someone who would be more likely to challenge the status quo if elected to the leadership position. He is also more closely aligned with President Donald Trump than either Thune or Cornyn and attended Trump’s criminal trial in New York to show his support.

Scott’s relationship with Trump may strengthen his candidacy for Senate leader if Trump prevails against Biden in the November presidential election.

The announcement of his candidacy aligned Scott with many of Trump’s stated policy priorities. In a letter to his Senate Republican colleagues, Scott emphasized the need for “dramatic change.” He outlined the challenges facing the country, including the open border, unsustainable debt, escalating military tensions worldwide, drug overdoses, and inflation.

He also highlighted the loss of trust in institutions, saying Republican voters “think the DOJ, the FBI, and the IRS have been weaponized to protect Democrats and harm Republicans.”

The Florida senator concluded his announcement with a mission to get the country back on track and to seek bold change. Senate Republicans will choose the next leader from among the three contenders this November.

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