Tom Cotton Throws Hat In Ring For Senate GOP Conference Chair

(Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton announced Tuesday that he plans to run for Senate Republican Conference chair as GOP Senate leadership reshuffles following Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s announcement that he plans to step down in November, The Hill reported.

The chair of the Senate Republican Conference is the third-highest GOP leadership position in the upper legislative chamber, the outlet noted.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the current chair of the Senate Republican Conference, announced his own intention to become the next Senate GOP Whip, the outlet reported.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who holds the fourth-highest position as Senate Republican Policy Committee, would traditionally be considered heir apparent to the post Cotton is gunning for.

Cotton does not currently hold any elected position in Senate party leadership. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Cotton Goes After Recruiting Firms After Reports Accuse Them Of Excluding ‘Non-Diverse’ Candidates)

“One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” the 82-year-old McConnell announced on Feb. 28. “So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”

The Kentucky senator’s decision appears to have been influenced by the backlash he received after his fellow Republicans killed a border bill he helped negotiate.

“I think this is our opportunity to take him out, and we’re sort of working to figure out if that’s possible,” one Republican senator told The Daily Caller on Feb. 7 amid the fallout from the failed proposal. “I think that there’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem where I think you probably have the votes, but you need somebody to step forward and that person’s that unwilling to step forward unless you have the votes.”