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Cornyn Is Running For Senate GOP Leader As MAGA Senators Plot Against Him

Senator John Cornyn has announced his candidacy to succeed Mitch McConnell as the Republican Senate leader. He is the first to officially announce his candidacy for the job, but there are two other likely candidates for the position.

“The Senate is broken,” Cornyn said in a statement, “and I intend to play a major role in fixing it.”

His announcement comes less than 24 hours after McConnell said he plans to retire from the position. McConnell is the longest-serving Senate leader in U.S. history, having served his party for 17 years.

It is possible that Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) may run for McConnell’s replacement. The two of them, along with Cornyn, are known as the ‘three Johns’ on Capitol Hill.

Some senators have not publicly declared their preferred candidate, while others have joked about supporting ‘John.’ However, there is a group of senators who believe that the next Republican leader should be more aligned with their MAGA views.

According to Politico, about a dozen McConnell antagonists in the Senate might join together to install a new leader they like. “The idea that it’s just between the ‘Three Johns’ is an outdated narrative from a year ago,” said one of the oppositors, while suggesting that Trump’s allies could use a strategy similar to the House Freedom Caucus, which used their influence within the GOP’s narrow House majority to replace former Rep. Kevin McCarthy with House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Cornyn has been a senator since 2002 and was close to McConnell. However, Republicans have criticized him for his bipartisan efforts, such as supporting Congress’ first major gun safety law in decades after the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde. According to The Texas Tribune, his approval ratings among Texas Republicans have fallen to 45% this month from their 2020 highs.

Cornyn is also an usual target for Attorney General Ken Paxton, as he wrote on X/Twitter last Wednesday that the Texas senator was “anti-gun” and “anti-Trump” stating that “Republicans deserve better in their next leader and Texans deserve another conservative Senator.”

Cornyn cited Paxton’s tweet saying: “Hard to run from prison, Ken,” referring to Paxton’s felony indictments for securities fraud and an ongoing federal investigation into allegations of abuse in office.

It is still unclear if Cornyn will receive support from other officials, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Cornyn said he plans to unify the factions within the Republican Party if elected leader.

“We will improve communication, increase transparency, and ensure inclusion of every Member’s expertise and opinion. … And we will return power back to our members; there will be no more backroom deals or forced votes on bills without adequate time for review, debate, and amendment,” he said.

Still, he faces a difficult time as more and more Republicans are moving farther to the right.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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