Mitch McConnell Preparing Exit Strategies, Potential Successors in Advance of Possible Retirement

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly created a shortlist of potential successors, with the establishment Republican considering a possible retirement before his term ends. McConnell was reelected to another Senate term in 2020, and the Intercept broke the news of his retirement considerations on Thursday.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is reportedly McConnell’s first pick for his successor. Former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft and Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams are also possible replacements. McConnell, 79, has served as a Kentucky Senator since 1985.

Kentucky law currently would allow Governor Andy Beshear- a Democrat- to appoint McConnell’s successor if he retired. However, McConnell is pushing for the Republican state legislature to pass reforms allowing them to select replacements for Senators who have resigned. McConnell’s quiet boosting of legislative reforms to appoint interim Senators led to the reports of his potential retirement, although it’s unclear when he plans to leave the picture.

McConnell largely alienated the Republican Party with a forceful denunciation of former President Donald Trump during the second sham impeachment trial targeting the President, although he declined to vote to convict the President on the basis of legality. A Republican candidate in the mold of McConnell’s 20th century style would have a difficult time winning a Kentucky GOP primary, and McConnell’s appointed pick may start off in such an election with a considerable handicap. In addition, the legacy Senator remains popular in Kentucky, although at least one county party censured him for his betrayal of Trump in January.


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