Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Cornyn Jumps In GOP Whip Race Cornyn Jumps In GOP Whip Race

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Cornyn Jumps In GOP Whip Race


Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, wants to be the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.(Liz Lynch)

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) has jumped into what's shaping up to be a long race for the number two Senate GOP spot against Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

An Alexander versus Cornyn race for the Republican Whip position held by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) was always likely because Kyl is term-limited as Whip, GOP aides said.

But his announcement Thursday that he will not seek reelection accelerated maneuvering and prompted public announcements. Cornyn at first declined to comment on the Whip post, but aides made his intentions clear after Alexander's move. With Kyl planning to remain in his leadership job through his term, two members of GOP leadership now look set for nearly two years of jostling for support from GOP senators.

The Whip job entails counting votes and sometimes leaning on senators to vote with the party. More importantly whoever wins it will become a logical successor to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as Republicans hope, Majority Leader in 2012.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) also announced yesterday that he will seek the Senate Republican Conference Chairman job Alexander now holds. Johanns, a former governor and Agriculture Secretary, appears to carry stature among Senate Republicans after two years of targeted success as legislating, a rarity for a freshman in the minority. A version of Johanns bill repealing a 1099 reporting requirement in the health care overhaul bill passed recently, though Democrats moved their own bill.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) who is mulling a presidential run, and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who have leadership roles, are good bets to seek more senior positions.

Updated 12:25 p.m.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories


Rick, Executive Director for Policy

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy, Director of Communications

I find them informative and appreciate the daily news updates and enjoy the humor as well."

Richard, VP of Government Affairs

Chock full of usable information on today's issues. "

Michael, Executive Director

Sign up form for the newsletter