Mitch McConnell

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Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell portrait 2016.jpg
Senate Majority Leader
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Deputy John Cornyn
Preceded by Harry Reid
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Assumed office
January 3, 1985
Serving with Rand Paul
Preceded by Walter Huddleston
Senate Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
Deputy Trent Lott
Jon Kyl
John Cornyn
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded 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
Chair of the Senate Rules Committee
In office
January 3, 1999 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by John Warner
Succeeded by Chris Dodd
Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Leader Trent Lott
Preceded by Al D'Amato
Succeeded by Bill Frist
Judge-Executive of Jefferson County
In office
Preceded by Todd Hollenbach III
Succeeded by Bremer Ehrler
United States Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs
In office
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Vincent Rakestraw
Succeeded by Michael Uhlmann
Personal details
Born Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr.
(1942-02-20) February 20, 1942 (age 76)
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sherrill Redmon (1968–1980)
Elaine Chao (1993–present)
Children 3
Education University of Louisville (BA)
University of Kentucky (JD)
Website Senate website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1967
Unit United 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 Majority Leader of the Senate, succeeding Harry Reid. He is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.[1]

Early life[change | change source]

Mitch McConnell was born in Sheffield, Alabama on February 20, 1942.[2] 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%.[3]

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,[4][5] 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.[6][7]

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 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.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. "McConnell becomes longest-serving senator from Kentucky". Larue County (Kentucky) Herald Tribune. January 14, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  2. "Mitch McConnell at Political Base". Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  3. 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)
  4. "McConnell Attacks Huddleston - Part 1 video". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  5. "McConnell Attacks Huddleston - Part 2 video". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  6. Ostermeier, Dr. Eric (November 29, 2015). "Which States Give Their US Senators the Lowest Marks?". Smart Politics. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  7. Cirilli, Kevin (December 12, 2012). "Poll: The most unpopular senator". POLITICO (Politico LLC). Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  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]