Graham backs calls for delay in Senate leadership election
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that Senate Republicans should delay leadership elections set for Wednesday, joining other GOP lawmakers pushing for a pause at least until the Georgia Senate race is decided.
“In light of #GASen runoff, it would be appropriate to delay Senate leadership elections until we know who is in the Senate Republican Conference,” Graham wrote in his tweet. “I totally agree with Senator @TedCruz that to do otherwise would be disrespectful to @HerschelWalker.”
Walker is seeking to oust Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) in the runoff, although Democrats secured control of the Senate with a win in Nevada declared on Saturday.
The list of GOP senators calling for a delay now includes Graham, Cruz, Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (D-Wisc.).
In his Twitter threat Sunday, Graham said, “All Republicans should be focused on winning in Georgia and trying to understand the midterm elections before Senate leadership elections or moving on to the 2024 presidential race.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to remain in his position, but some prominent GOP figures such as former President Trump have called out McConnell for spending big on Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Ala.) reelection bid, while holding back in Arizona’s Senate race, in which Republican Blake Masters was outspent by a wide margin.
Trump has also agitated for Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), head of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, to challenge McConnell for the top leadership post. And Politico reported that Scott was considering a challenge until Tuesday’s frustrating results.
During an appearance on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Johnson said that the timing of the upcoming Senate GOP leadership is “absurd.”
“If we hold those elections right away Wednesday, you probably have more campaigning done in a high school class president election than we would have in the most deliberative body in the world,” Johnson told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo.
“It is absurd. It is preposterous. They need to be delayed. We need to have these discussions.”