Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will soon set the record as the longest serving Senate Republican leader, as Minority Leader and Majority Leader.
He is in his 16th year of party leadership, since the beginning of 2007, and if he remains the leader into 2023, he will surpass Democrat Mike Mansfield, who served from 1961-1977 as party leader.
Even if McConnell continues as party leader into next year, there is speculation about who would be his successor, with three “Johns” seen as in competition.
They are Senator John Thune of South Dakota, who serves as Minority Whip, and was elected in 2004, and is facing reelection this fall, at age 61. He also served in the House of Representatives from 1997-2003.
The second contender is Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who served as Minority Whip in past Congresses, and was first elected in 2002, and is age 70. He was on the Texas Supreme Court and Attorney General of Texas before coming to the Senate.
The third contender is Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, who is a orthopedic physician, and has served in the Senate since 2007, and is also age 70. He also has served as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the third ranking position in leadership.