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After Freezing in Mid-Sentence, McConnell Says He Intends to Serve Full Term

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Mitch McConnell, center, is helped by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. (AP File)
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After freezing mid-sentence during a news conference on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 81, is trying to quash speculation about his political future.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for McConnell told Politico that the longest-serving Senate leader of all time “appreciates the continued support of his colleagues, and plans to serve his full term in the job they overwhelmingly elected him to do.”

McConnell’s six-year term ends in 2026.

McConnell Missed Nearly Six Weeks After Fall

In April, the Kentucky Republican returned to the Senate floor nearly six weeks after suffering a concussion and a fractured rib in a fall at a Washington hotel.

Despite McConnell’s declared intention of serving the remainder of his term, some GOP senators are trying to figure out who might replace him.

“He comes out, loses his train of thought. And everybody’s asking: ‘What are you going to do about it?’ ” Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) told Politico.

“He’ll know when it’s time. He’s not going to put our caucus in harm’s way. If he didn’t think he can do it, I’m sure he’ll make that decision.”

Top Contenders to Succeed McConnell

Conventional political wisdom says that three loyal McConnell deputies — Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Conference Chair John Barrasso of Wyoming, and Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota — are among the top contenders to succeed him.

Earlier this year, McConnell saw his position challenged for the first time. However, he easily defeated Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, 37-10, in a leadership vote. McConnell then removed Scott from the Commerce Committee, one of Scott’s preferred assignments.

Read more at Politico.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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