Who Will Be Mitch McConnell’s Replacement?

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 81, has been at the center of growing concerns regarding his health, as many are calling for him to resign. However, if McConnell were to resign then according to Kentucky state laws, his replacement would need to be a Republican.

McConnell came under fire this week after he froze in the middle of a sentence and then proceeded to train off on Wednesday while delivering remarks at a Capitol press conference. The Kentucky senator is not the only older elected official to be facing opposition because of his age and health, as for months now calls have been made from Diana Feinstein, a California Senator, to resign.

In March, McConnell made national news after he fell during a dinner at a hotel in Washington, D.C., which resulted in him suffering from a concussion. Earlier this month, McConnell had another accident while getting off an airplane at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

On Wednesday during the incident, McConnell had been led away by other Republicans who were at the press conference before returning a few minutes later saying that he was fine. McConnell’s term might technically end in 2027, but that does not necessarily mean that he will not resign earlier than that. According to a new law that was passed in Kentucky with his help, even if he does step down, his replacement will need to be a Republican.

The law that was introduced in 2021 changes the process used for filling a vacant seat in cases of early resignation, illness, or death. This has taken away from the Kentucky governor, Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear the right to select a replacement from a different party.