On Wednesday, Mitch McConnell defeated challenger Rick Scott, a fellow member of leadership who serves as the head of the Senate Republican campaign committee, to retain his position as leader of the Senate Republican conference.
After the GOP was unable to seize control of the Senate, Scott (R-Fla.) launched the unlikely campaign on Tuesday. Scott was determined to challenge the “status quo” under McConnell. McConnell is currently on pace to serve as the longest-serving party leader in the history of the chamber.
Scott was defeated by McConnell 37-10.
Some Senate Republicans wanted to postpone the leadership elections, but that motion was defeated on Wednesday morning, 16-32, making McConnell’s reelection more likely. It hasn’t been a pretty week, though. On Tuesday, Senate Republicans complained for three hours about their botched midterm election, the lack of a legislative agenda, Scott’s alleged mismanagement of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and McConnell’s leadership of the caucus.
Wednesday was not much better either. Scott criticised Todd Young (R-Ind.), chair of the NRSC’s former campaign arm, for giving “unauthorized and improper bonuses” to staff two years ago as senators demanded an audit of the NRSC.
Prior to the Georgia runoff, which will determine whether the Senate is evenly divided for the upcoming term or if Democrats gain a seat, Republicans are hoping that the quick conclusion of the leadership races will put their squabbling behind them.