Mitch McConnell

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Mitch McConnell
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Assumed office
January 3, 1985
Serving with Rand Paul
Preceded by Walter Huddleston
Senate Minority Leader
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Whip Trent Lott
Jon Kyl
John Cornyn
Preceded by Harry Reid
Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Leader Bill Frist
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded by Dick Durbin
Personal details
Born Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr.
February 20, 1942 (1942-02-20) (age 72)
Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sherrill Redmon (divorced)
Elaine Chao (1993–present)
Alma mater University of Louisville
University of Kentucky
Profession Lawyer
Religion Southern Baptist[1]
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1967
Unit Army Reserve

Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. (born February 20, 1942) is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he is the Minority Leader of the Senate.[2] He is the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.[3]

Early life[change | change source]

Mitch McConnell was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on February 20, 1942.[4] He was raised in southern Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Julia (née Shockley) and Addison Mitchell McConnell. He attended the duPont Manual High School. In 1964, he graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a B.A. in political science. He graduated in 1967 from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Career[change | change source]

In 1984, McConnell ran for the United States Senate against two-term Democratic incumbent Walter "Dee" Huddleston. The election race wasn't decided until the last polls returned came in, and McConnell won by a thin margin—only 5,200 votes out of more than 1.8 million votes cast, just over 0.4%.[5] McConnell was the only Republican Senate challenger to win that year, despite Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in the presidential election. Part of McConnell's success came from a series of television campaign spots called "Where's Dee", which featured a group of bloodhounds trying to find Huddleston,[6][7] implying that Huddleston's attendance record in the Senate was less than stellar. It is likely that he was helped by Ronald Reagan's 21-point win in Kentucky that year. His campaign bumper stickers and television ads asked voters to "Switch to Mitch".

Personal life[change | change source]

McConnell is a member of the Baptist Church. His first wife was Sherrill Redmon,[8] from whom he was later divorced; they have three daughters. His second wife, whom he married in 1993, is Elaine Chao, the former Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush (the first Asian American woman to serve in the Cabinet).

Senator McConnell's personal fortune was between $9,839,049 to $44,587,000 in 2010 and he was ranked as the 10th wealthiest member of the U.S. Senate.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. Listed as Baptist in official biographies, but reportedly attends a different church now.Wide variety of Baptists, other faiths found in 111th Congress
  2. "National Environmental Scorecard". League of conservation voters. 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  3. "McConnell becomes longest-serving senator from Kentucky". Larue County (Kentucky) Herald Tribune. January 14, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  4. "Mitch McConnell at Political Base". Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  5. Mark R. Chellgren (November 7, 1984). "Dee upset by McConnell in close race". Williamson Daily News.,2543281&dq=dee+huddleston&hl=en. Retrieved Feb. 13, 2012.
  6. "McConnell Attacks Huddleston - Part 1 video". Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  7. "McConnell Attacks Huddleston - Part 2 video". Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  8. John E. Kleber, Kentucky Bicentennial Commission, Thomas Dionsius Clark, and Lowell H. Harrison, "The Kentucky Encyclopedia", University Press of Kentucky, 1992, page 592, accessdate 2010-07-30
  9. (2010-12-03). "Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 2010". Retrieved 2011-02-13.

Other websites[change | change source]