Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) won in a 37-10-1 secret-ballot leadership election to retain his position as the Republican leader in the Senate.

He was challenged for the first time in 15 years by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida). The vote came after numerous Republican senators requested that the vote be delayed until after the runoff election in Georiga between U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker (R) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) is completed in the first week of December. They argued that Republicans need to focus on flipping the seat rather than thinking about leadership right now.

McConnell said that he was not offended that Scott had run against him, “I don’t own this job. Anybody who wants to run for it can feel free to do so.”

Though Scott initially spoke in support of McConnell earlier this year, he has become increasingly critical of McConnell in recent months going so far as to present his own political agenda, which McConnell dismissed. He also penned an op-ed in September which pundits saw as a public distancing from McConnell.


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Scott responded to the Wednesday vote in a statement.

“I will never stop fighting to finally take action to protect Social Security and Medicare and preserve the promise of these programs for our children and grandchildren,” the statement, referring to his “Rescue America” plan, read. “I never thought for a moment that this fight would be easy, but I’m optimistic that, together, Republicans can rescue America with the principles that unite us against the dangerous path Democrats have set it on.”

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