Mitch McConnell Will Step Down

( – Mitch McConnell announced on Wednesday, February 28th, that he intends to step down as Senate Republican leader in November. McConnell has served in the Senate since 1984 and has earned the recognition of being the longest-serving party leader in Senate history, holding the position since 2007.

The 82-year-old Kentucky Senator may have plans to step down as party leader but said he still intends to “finish the job the people of Kentucky hired me to do” by remaining in the Senate until the end of his term in January 2027.

Many factors may have influenced his decision to step aside. McConnell suffered “episodes” of freezing up in front of the media last year while recovering from a serious fall. He has recently lost favor with many Republicans by promoting financial aid for Ukraine. Wisconsin Senator, Ron Johnson, said in an interview with Daily Caller that he believes McConnell “frittered away” any leverage the Senate had by supporting a deal that secured $60 billion in aid for Ukraine without securing a deal for border security in the process.

McConnell also acknowledged that he has become “out of step” with his party which former President Donald Trump heavily influences. The relationship between McConnell and Trump has been strained since McConnell voted against convicting the former president at his impeachment trial, but then accused Trump of rejecting election results in 2020 and blamed him for the events of January 6th, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.

During his announcement on Wednesday, McConnell also remarked that a close relative had recently died at a young age giving him “pause for reflection”.

An election will be held in November to fill the position of Senate Minority Leader. Three Senators, known as the “three Johns”, are expected to take up the race immediately. The runners include Sen. John Barrasso (WY), Senate Minority Whip John Thune (SD), and former GOP Whip Sen. John Cornyn (TX).

Sixty-three-year-old John Thune is well-regarded by his colleagues and is the “favorite” to replace McConnell.

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