Rick Scott to Challenge Mitch McConnell for Senate GOP Leadership

November 16, 2022 Updated 11:00 AM ET

Republican U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rick Scott.
Republican U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rick Scott.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (FLV) – U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is running to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Scott announced he will be challenging McConnell in a closed-door GOP lunch on Tuesday.

“We must start saying what we are for, not just what we are against. I do not believe we can simply continue to say the Democrats are radical, which they are. Republican voters expect and deserve to know our plan to promote and advance conservative values,” Scott said.

“We need to listen to their calls for action and start governing in Washington like we campaign back at home. There is a Republican Party that is alive and well in communities across America. It is time there is one in Washington, D.C., too. That is why I am running to be Republican Leader.”

McConnell is the longest-serving Senate Republican Leader in American history, unanimously elected to lead the conference eight times since 2006.

Scott and McConnell have been at odds over political strategy for most of 2022. Scott believes it’s time for the Senate Republican Conference to be “far more bold and resolute” than it has been.

The Florida senator said the GOP leadership runs on “how bad the Democrats are” and claimed they want to “rush” through the election criticizing McConnell after a push from some members to delay leadership elections.

“The leadership in the Republican Senate says, ‘No, you cannot have a plan, we’re just going to run against how bad the Democrats are.’ And actually then they cave into the Democrats,” said Scott, on Sunday Morning Futures. “Now they want to rush through an election. … They don’t want to do any assessment of what we’ve done wrong.”

Republican senators say McConnell has strong odds of keeping his seat despite discontent among some members.

“I understand that I won’t gain the support of every member of our Conference, but we all have a clear choice to make. If you simply want to stick with the status quo, don’t vote for me,” Scott continued.

McConnell brushed off Scott’s challenge to reporters on Tuesday: “I have the votes. I will be elected.”

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun said he supports Scott to unseat McConnell.

“It’s time for bold change. The voters are demanding it,” Scott remarked.

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