by Nicholas Ballasy
Senate Republicans re-elected Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as leader 37-10 on Wednesday.
South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune was also re-elected as Senate Republican whip.
McConnell, the longest serving Senate GOP leader, overcame a challenge from Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott.
The Kentucky Republican said on Tuesday that he welcomed the challenge from Scott but predicted he had enough votes to win.
“I don’t own this job. Anybody in the conference is certainly entitled to challenge me,” McConnell said at the GOP leadership press conference. “And I welcome the contest.”
Scott was “un-invited” to the press conference after announcing his decision to challenge McConnell for the chamber’s GOP leaders position, according to Scott’s office.
Scott, currently a member of the Senate GOP leadership team as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, typically appears at the weekly news conference with McConnell and other GOP leaders.
McConnell’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment on Tuesday evening.
McConnell held a news conference after Wednesday’s election to introduce the Senate GOP leadership team and Scott was not present.
Some GOP senators had called for the election to be delayed until after Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff election.
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Nicholas Ballasy has been breaking news for more than a decade in the nation’s capital and questioning political leaders about the most pressing issues facing the nation.
Photo “Mitch McConnell” by Senator Mitch McConnell.