By RONNIE ELLIS
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, was re-elected Republican Minority Leader by his Republican Senate colleagues on Wednesday.
McConnell has been Minority Leader since 2006 but has twice been thwarted by American voters in his longtime wish to become Majority Leader of the Senate.
“I am honored that my colleagues once again supported me and invested their trust in me to lead the team as Republican Leader for another two years,” McConnell said in a statement released by his press office.
Both in 2010 and again in the Nov. 6 elections, Republican hopes to wrest the majority from Democrats failed, in part due to unexpected primary wins by more conservative Republican candidates affiliated with tea party groups. In both elections, those candidates went on to lose to Democrats in the general election.
The two most notable examples this year were Republicans Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana.
Akin lost to incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill after a series of controversial statements about rape, abortion and other women’s issues. Before that, McCaskill was viewed as the most vulnerable of the Democratic incumbents on this year’s ballot.
In Indiana, Mourdock upset moderate Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary, then lost to Democrat Joe Donnelly. Mourdock also made controversial comments during his campaign about rape.
In the end, Democrats actually picked up two seats in the Senate to slightly expand their narrow majority.
But Republicans unanimously re-elected McConnell who is widely viewed as an expert on legislative procedures, Senate rules and skilled at keeping his conference speaking with a unified voice.
See the full story in the print or E-edition of Thursday's Glasgow Daily Times.