Wyo’s Barrasso Passes On GOP Senate Leader Race; Will Seek Assistant Leader Post


        Wyoming U-S Senator John Barrasso, #3 in the Republican Senate leadership, is passing on a 3-way race to replace Mitch McConnell as Leader and instead running for the #2 spot, currently held by South Dakota’s John Thune.

       Thune and John Cornyn of Texas, who held the #2 post until term-limited by party rules 5 years ago, have both announced campaigns to succeed McConnell when he steps down after the November elections.

      It had long been speculated that Barrasso might run as well, making the contest a race among “the three Johns,” but instead announced his decision to shoot for the lower post today.

     In a brief statement, Barrasso – whose wife Bobbi died in January after a 2-year struggle with brain cancer – said he has had time to reflect on how he might best serve, and “after a lot of thought” felt it would be as the Assistant Republican Leader.”

      There still could be a 3-way race for leader since the right flank of the party has been critical of McConnell and both Thune and Cornyn have worked closely with him. Florida’s Rick Scott challenged McConnell in the last leadership election in 2022. 

      Thune and Cornyn have both sparred with Donald Trump, but eventually endorsed him this year as it became clear that he is the likely GOP nominee for president.