Senate conservatives keep GOP leader race on ice despite Rick Scott shake-up

Senate conservatives are holding off on endorsing Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) run for GOP leader, keeping the race to succeed Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) effectively frozen six months out from the secret ballot.

Talk of the leader contest has receded into the background since McConnell announced his retirement from leadership in February. Two contenders viewed as McConnell’s natural successors — Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), a former whip — stepped forward in the days that followed, but the long lead time until votes are cast, likely in November, has turned one of the most consequential decisions for the conference in decades into a sleepy affair.

Almost no Senate Republicans have announced their support for any of McConnell’s possible successors.

Scott’s entry into the race on Wednesday added a jolt of interest. He’s made
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