The past few weeks have included announcements by multiple Senate Republicans that they will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming primary election cycle.
While Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is not officially on that list just yet, a new report suggests he could be closer to retirement than some voters might realize.
“Poised to change the rules”
Of course, Newsmax TV’s John Gizzi noted that the 79-year-old legislator’s reason for thinking about stepping down is not the same as some of his colleagues.
Gizzi, a White House correspondent for the network, detailed in his recent report why he believes McConnell might soon announce his retirement.
He explained that it could amount to a strategic move that would ultimately serve the greater good of the GOP in his home state of Kentucky.
“Sen. McConnell’s allies in the Bluegrass State legislature want to change the rules for succession to a vacant Senate seat,” Gizzi explained. “Today, the governor can appoint just who he wants. The Democratic Gov. [Andy] Beshear is unlikely to appoint who Mitch McConnell wants.”
For that reason, the GOP-led legislature “is poised to change the rules” to require the governor “to name from a list of three from the executive committee of the party of the outgoing senator,” the correspondent explained.
Multiple GOP senators announce retirement
In other words, if Kentucky Republicans can pull off the change in time, it will ensure that a Republican fills the seat vacated by McConnell rather than Beshear selecting a Democrat, which would devastate the GOP’s efforts to regain control of the upper chamber.
The top Senate Republican has reportedly already submitted a list of three names from which he would like to see his replacement selected.
According to WTMA, McConnell’s top pick is Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who rose to prominence as the first Black individual to be elected to statewide office in Kentucky. Cameron gained national prominence shortly after taking office in the wake of the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
Considering how easily he sailed to victory in his bid for his current term in office, Gizzi clarified that he does not believe McConnell will retire prior to securing an eighth term in the Senate. Republicans would also need time to change the rules of succession in order for their plan to come to fruition.
Speculation surrounding McConnell comes as Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) became the fifth and latest member of the party to announce retirement. Only time will tell if any other Senate Republicans plan to step down and whether the announcements could jeopardize the party’s plans to retake majority control next year.