Mitch McConnell

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Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell 2016 official photo.jpg
Official portrait, 2016
Senate Minority Leader
Assumed office
January 20, 2021
DeputyJohn Thune
Preceded byChuck Schumer
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
Deputy
Preceded byHarry Reid
Succeeded byHarry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
In office
January 3, 2015 – January 20, 2021
Deputy
Preceded byHarry Reid
Succeeded byChuck Schumer
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Assumed office
January 3, 1985
Serving with Rand Paul
Preceded byWalter Huddleston
Leader of the Senate Republican Conference
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Deputy
Preceded byBill Frist
Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
LeaderBill Frist
Preceded byHarry Reid
Succeeded byDick Durbin
Chair of the Senate Rules Committee
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
Preceded byChris Dodd
Succeeded byChris Dodd
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byJohn Warner
Succeeded byChris Dodd
Judge/Executive of Jefferson County
In office
1977–1984
Preceded byTodd Hollenbach III
Succeeded byBremer Ehrler
Acting United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs
In office
1975
PresidentGerald Ford
Preceded byVincent Rakestraw
Succeeded byMichael Uhlmann
Personal details
Born
Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr.

(1942-02-20) February 20, 1942 (age 78)
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
  • Sherrill Redmon
    (m. 1968; div. 1980)
  • Elaine Chao (m. 1993)
Children3
ResidenceLouisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Education
Net worth$22.5 million (estimate)[1]
Signature
WebsiteSenate website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of serviceJuly 9, 1967, to August 15, 1967 (37 days) (medical separation)
UnitUnited States 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, succeeding Chuck Schumer. He is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.[2]

Early life[change | change source]

Mitch McConnell was born to Julia (née Shockley) and Addison Mitchell McConnell at Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama on February 20, 1942.[3][4] [5]He grew up in segregated Athens, Alabama; his family owned slaves and cotton plantations in the area generations before him.[6] They moved to southern Louisville, Kentucky and McConnell 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%.[7]

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,[8][9] 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".

McConnell has repeatedly been found to have the lowest home state approval rating of any sitting senator.[10][11]

Personal life[change | change source]

McConnell is a member of the Baptist Church. His first wife was Sherrill Redmon,[12] from whom he was later divorced; they have three daughters. His second wife, whom he married in 1993, is Elaine Chao, the current Secretary of Transportation under Donald Trump and 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.[13]

References[change | change source]

  1. Kessler, Glenn (May 22, 2014). "How did Mitch McConnell's Net Worth Soar?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  2. "McConnell becomes longest-serving senator from Kentucky". Larue County (Kentucky) Herald Tribune. January 14, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  3. "Mitch McConnell at Political Base". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  4. "Sen. Mitch McConnell once called Athens home". Enewscourier.com. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  5. Thompson, Fred (2010-05-18). Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir of Growing Up and Second Chances. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-46030-1.
  6. Mazza, Sandy. "In McConnell's boyhood town where his family owned slaves, the reparations debate thrives". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  7. Mark R. Chellgren (November 7, 1984). "Dee upset by McConnell in close race". Williamson Daily News. Retrieved Feb. 13, 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. "McConnell Attacks Huddleston - Part 1 video". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  9. "McConnell Attacks Huddleston - Part 2 video". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  10. Ostermeier, Dr. Eric (November 29, 2015). "Which States Give Their US Senators the Lowest Marks?". Smart Politics. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  11. Cirilli, Kevin (December 12, 2012). "Poll: The most unpopular senator". POLITICO. Politico LLC. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  12. 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
  13. OpenSecrets.org (2010-12-03). "Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 2010". OpenSecrets.org. Retrieved 2011-02-13.

Other websites[change | change source]