The Floridian initially reported that Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) would not be challenging Senator Mitch McConnell (R). However, Senator Scott has now confirmed that he is challenging McConnell for the top Republican leadership position as Republicans look to new leadership after the November election.
California House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) faces tough opposition from Republicans in his bid for House Speaker and recently lost his bid to lead the conference by a vote margin of 188 to 31.
Leader McCarthy still has 5 weeks to shore up support for his speakership. If McCarthy fails to garner support from his colleagues, House Republicans will then have to nominate someone else.
McConnell has similarly faced criticism from Republican lawmakers, but no other lawmaker had committed to challenging him for the position.
In a tweet, Senator Scott commented that Republicans need new leadership to guide the way post-2022 after the GOP lost the Senate.
"The status quo is broken and big change is needed," Scott warned, writing that "it’s time for new leadership in the Senate that unites Republicans to advance a bold conservative agenda. That’s why I’m running to be the Senate Republican Leader."
McConnell has served in the role since 2007, which makes him the longest-serving Republican leader in the history of the Senate.
Though Republicans maintained that the November 8th election would usher in a "red wave," it's only expected that Republicans will capture the House. In response to the results, Scott issued a letter to Republican members this week. commenting on how "disappointed" he is by the results.
One vocal critic of Senator McConnell, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley (R), spoke to reporters this week, saying that he does not support McConnell for the leadership position while also commenting on the November 8th election.
"This election was the funeral for the Republican Party as we know it," Hawley said, adding that "the Republican Party is, as we have known it, dead." Hawley explained that independent voters did not support GOP candidates in the last election and that Republicans can become "a majority party" if they appeal to those voters moving forward.