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U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) said he plans to vote for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) despite continued support for former President Donald Trump.
Republican senators have been preparing to select the minority leadership on Wednesday after an underwhelming midterm election last week.
Some of them have suggested delaying this week’s leadership vote until after the December 6 runoff election between Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Republican Herschel Walker for Georgia’s only open Senate seat.
Warnock and Walker’s race will determine the last spot in the Senate. If Walker wins, the Senate will be split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. However, the power of a tie-breaking vote in the Senate will be left up to Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, giving the Democrats a slight advantage.
Nevertheless, many other senate Republicans are starting to back McConnell, who Trump blamed for “blowing” the midterms. Many Republicans expected the midterms to result in a landslide victory for conservatives across the country.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also accused McConnell of hindering the party’s election performance by “abandoning” Blake Masters in the Arizona Senate race because Masters vowed to vote against McConnell. Cruz said that McConnell “would rather the Democrat win.”
McConnell has served multiple terms as minority leader in the Senate. McConnell was elected to the Senate in 1985. He has been the leader of the Senate Republicans since 2007.
As of now, the Senate will move forward with the elections on Wednesday. If McConnell wins, he will serve another two years as minority leader.
Tuberville told The Hill on Monday that he would vote for McConnell but would still support Trump if he were to run for president in 2024.
Tuberville added that Republicans should review their strategy of boosting voter turnout by using early voting and mail-in ballots.
“It’d probably be smart to make sure we had everybody here,” said Tuberville on Tuesday. “And we don’t know whether Herschel Walker is going to be here or not. Is it going to make any difference whether Senator McConnell will be the leader or not the leader? Probably not.”
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