Minority Whip Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) decision “not to seek reelection has set off a Republican leadership scramble in the Senate, potentially pitting Texas Sen. John Cornyn against Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander for the powerful No. 2 position in the GOP hierarchy,” POLITICO reports.
Alexander will run for the whip position, an aide confirmed Thursday.
Cornyn, now is in his second term running the National Republican Senatorial Committee, does not plan to run the influential Senate campaign group when he is up for reelection in the 2014 election cycle. Many on Capitol Hill believe that Cornyn would run for the No. 2 spot, and potentially be in a strong position to secure it if Republicans take back the majority in the 2012 elections.
But Alexander currently is the No. 3 Republican in Senate leadership, serving as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, which gives him the responsibility of crafting the party’s message. Many GOP senators have praised Alexander’s ability to stay on message and push back against the Democratic agenda, something that could help in a leadership race.