Republican Sen. Rick Scott (FL) announced during a closed-door lunch with Republican senators on Tuesday that he will go against GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (KY).
“Republican voters expect and deserve to know our plan to promote and advance conservative values… That is why I am running to be Republican Leader,” Scott mentioned in a letter sent out after the meeting.
“Like each of you, I am deeply disappointed by the results of the recent election,” he continued. “Despite what the armchair quarterbacks on TV will tell you, there is no one person responsible for our party’s performance across the country.”
“If you simply want to stick with the status quo, don’t vote for me,” Scott added.
Scott's challenge will require a simple majority of Republican senators. The vote will be conducted by secret ballot and behind closed doors on Wednesday.
The announcement comes after several Republican senators attempted to delay the leadership elections until the Georgia Senate race was resolved. However, McConnell's election lieutenant, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), has stated that the election will go ahead as planned.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Tuesday that if the vote is not postponed, McConnell will face a challenge.
Those who were against McConnell’s immediate leadership vote include Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and perhaps Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
If McConnell is not reelected Wednesday, he will also fail to become the longest-serving Senate party leader in history.
McConnell has been chastised for defunding Republican Senate candidates during the midterms and instead directing funds to his ally, pro-impeachment Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who is being challenged by Republican Kelly Tshibaka. The Alaska Republican Party has condemned both Murkowski and McConnell.
The nation has struggled under McConnell's Senate leadership. The national debt has risen to more than $20 trillion, illegal immigration has continued, real wages for American workers have stagnated, Obamacare was implemented in 2010, big banks were bailed out in 2008, and social media companies have silenced individuals without consequence. Dr. Anthony Fauci remains unaccounted for after allegedly lying to Congress twice.