Incumbent Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Missouri Senate hopeful Eric Schmitt have both said that if the U.S. Senate was won by the Republicans, then they would not support Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and instead would look for different leadership in this term.
During a rally in Springfield, Missouri, Hawley who was there to support Schmitt mentioned how it would be better if they got new leadership. As a means of explaining why that would be nicer, he referred to previous disagreements with McConnell regarding funding Ukraine’s defense following the Russian attack.
When asked about whether he would support McConnell, Hawley reportedly said that he did not believe he would. He also noted that he was not aware if any other people would run for the position, but in his opinion, it was time for new leadership.
Previously when asked by St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about the next GOP leader, Hawley had said “not Mitch McConnell.”
Schmitt, whom the rally was being held for, has also previously opposed McConnell’s leadership. During the Republican Senate primary in July, Schmitt had reportedly said that he would like to see the Republican conference led by either Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas or Mike Lee of Utah. He also added that he would not support McConnell as McConnel had not endorsed him.
When asked again on Monday about how he would vote in the next leadership election, Schmitt maintained that his previous comments still stood.
McConnell has been the Republican leader for almost 15 years. That was both during times the Republicans held the Senate majority and when they didn’t. He had previously mentioned he intended to run for leadership again.