Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Won’t Commit To Replacing McConnell With A Republican
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear walks to his seat before the start of a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and governors visiting from states around the country in the East Room of the White House on February 10, 2023 in Washington, DC. This weekend President Biden is hosting governors that are attending the annual National Governors Association Winter Meeting. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY) has so far not committed to replacing Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with another Republican, should the Senate Minority Leader’s health become a persistent problem.

Beshear evaded the question about a possible Senate vacancy — pointing out the fact that McConnell has given no indication he intends to retire before the end of his current term — during a Thursday press conference.

“There is no Senate vacancy. Senator McConnell has said he’s going to serve out his term, and I believe him, so I’m not going to speculate about something that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen,” Beshear said.

The governor’s comments come amid speculation about McConnell’s health and calls for his resignation after he froze up on camera on at least two instances. But McConnell, who recently suffered a concussion as the result of a fall, has said that he has simply experienced a few brief moments of light-headedness.

“He was in good shape,” Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.C.) said. “He was direct. He said he fell. He said, ‘I had that concussion.’ And he said, ‘They warned me that I would be lightheaded in the future and that I have got to be aware of it.’ He said, ‘It happened twice.’ He said, ‘It just so happens I’m doing it in front of reporters.’ But he felt good yesterday. He said he’s got to watch his hydration levels.”

But should McConnell choose to vacate his seat, Beshear is bound by a 2021 law to replace him with a member of his own party — a law that was passed over Beshear’s protests and his veto.

Beshear’s complaint was that the law, which also lays out the procedure for special elections, was unconstitutional.

“The bill therefore upends a century of precedent by delegating the power to select the representative of all Kentuckians to an unelected, unaccountable committee of an organization that represents only a fraction of Kentuckians,” he said.

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