Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters on Tuesday that he intends on serving his full seventh-term to which he was elected last year, quashing rumors that he had been eyeing possible retirement.
McConnell’s announcement came one day after the Republican-dominated Kentucky legislature overrode Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s veto of a controversial bill – SB 228 – that “requires the governor to pick a temporary successor who shares the same political party as the departing Senator. It also makes them select that person from a list of three names provided by the executive committee of the departing senator’s state party,” noted the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Beshear said that the legislation violates the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.”
The GOP found another way to circumvent democracy in order to maintain power by stripping Beshear of his constitutional authority.
On Tuesday, McConnell was elated.
“I don’t think we’re going to have a vacancy. I’m not going anywhere. I just got elected to a six-year term. And I’m still the leader of my party in the Senate. But I had watched this over the years in the Senate as various vacancies were filled and I thought this was the best way to go,” he said.
“The goal here, that I support … was if such a vacancy were to occur to have the people as quickly as possible elect the new senator. And in the interim, honor the results of the last election,” McConnell said. “I can assure you … I would have supported this had the governor been Matt Bevin.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.