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Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell to step down as Republican Leader in November

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks at an event during President Biden’s visit to Kentucky to discuss infrastructure on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, near the Brent Spence Bridge in Covington, Kentucky. Photo by Jack Weaver | File

Clarification: Mitch McConnell will finish the term ending January 2027 in a different chamber seat than Senate Republican Leader.

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell announced today, in an address to the Senate, that he will be stepping down from his current position as the Senate Republican Leader in November of this year, according to CNBC

McConnell was first elected into his current senator position in 1985 and in 2023 became the longest-serving Senate party leader in U.S. history, according to CNBC.

His term was set to expire in January 2027, according to the Associated Press News, but he plans to “serve out his senate term” until then “‘from a different seat in the chamber.’”

McConnell said in his address that “it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” according to AP News, and the moment of “clarity” regarding his decision arrived to him today. 

McConnell’s aide said his decision is unrelated to his health, according to AP News. Last year McConnell suffered from a concussion, which led to him freezing up in speeches twice.

AP News reported that his colleagues have said McConnell recovered from his injury, but is perhaps facing “physical limitations” as he just turned 82 years old.

McConnell gave no specific reason for this decision. According to AP News, the recent death of his wife’s sister has been difficult for his family. This event was a moment for him that “provided introspection.”

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