Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who breezed to re-election by more than 27 percentage points Tuesday and watched Republicans regain majority control of the Senate, is now looking at winning another election: next week’s leadership vote for majority whip.
Cornyn, 62, the minority whip, has been deferential to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the likely Senate majority leader, who himself just won a closely watched re-election contest. Cornyn was elected GOP whip in 2012 with McConnell’s support.
Speaking to reporters in Louisville, McConnell said that he would win the leadership election Nov. 13, which will be decided by the Republican senators who will serve in the 114th Congress beginning in January. That will include the seven state pick-ups on Tuesday, and possibly more, with three undecided Senate races as of Wednesday afternoon.
But the other Texas Republican senator, Ted Cruz, at least clouded the picture a bit by refusing to say in media interviews if he would support McConnell.
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In a statement Wednesday, Cornyn, who raised more than $3 million for close Senate races, looked forward to being in the majority.
“The message sent last night from the American people is loud and clear: Washington is broken, the big government experiment has failed, and the time has come for fresh leadership and a new direction for the country,” he said.
He added that Republicans were “humbled” by their victories and characterized the majority as “an opportunity.”
“Under the leadership of Majority Leader McConnell, we will work with the Republican-led House to focus on pro-growth legislation that strengthens our economy, relieves Americans from the burdens of Obamacare, grows America’s energy industry and secures a better future for the generations ahead,” he said.