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Kentucky’s governor won’t say if he will turn to the Republican to replace McConnell


Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear welcomes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chau, to the annual Fancy Farm picnic.
Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald Leader/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

  • Andy Beshear this week faced questions about the health of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • The 2021 law requires Beshear to appoint a Republican to the Senate if McConnell steps down.
  • Basher tried to veto that bill at the time and could challenge it if McConnell vacated his seat.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declined this week to say whether he would abide by the GOP-controlled legislature’s 2021 vacancies law, which would allow Republicans to decide who replaces Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should the veteran lawmaker step down. . His office amid questions about his health.

During a news conference Thursday, Beshear — a Democrat up for re-election in November — refused to commit to following the appointment law, which was passed by the Republican-dominated legislature. transcend veto in 2021. During his appearance, the governor insisted that questions about McConnell’s political future were premature.

Bashir said: “There is no vacancy in the Senate.” The Washington Post reported. He added: “Senator McConnell said he will complete his term, and I believe him, so I will not speculate on something that has not happened and will not happen.”

Questions arose about the health of the 81-year-old McConnell after he suffered two seizures in about a month. It seemed to freeze At press conferences. A Capitol doctor said the seizures are related to “Vertigo” from a previous concussionbut other doctors have Expect it to be small shifts.

A McConnell spokesperson referred Insider to a statement from Brian B. Monahan, the attending physician for Congress, who said McConnell is “medically cleared” to continue with his schedule as planned and that “dizziness” is not uncommon in concussion recovery and could also be attributed to “dehydration.” ”

Should McConnell vacate his seat in the Senate, the new law would require the Kentucky governor to formally appoint a replacement from a list of three candidates chosen by the outgoing senator’s party, essentially shifting appointment power from the governor to Kentucky Republicans. .

In his rebuttal, Bashir named The 2021 law is “unconstitutional,” arguing that it “overturns a century of precedent by delegating the power to choose the representative of all Kentuckians to an unelected, unaccountable committee of an organization that represents only a small portion of the Kentucky population.”

And with the Republicans firmly in control of the legislature, they did easily transcend Al-Bashir’s veto.

But Michael Abati, a Louisville attorney, he told the Louisville Courier-Journal Bashir can defy the law and seek a replacement – or sue against the law.

“Either Bachir, GOP, says thank you for your list, but I appoint whomever I want, and then it’s immediately challenged in court, or you can see Bachir go down the path of suing.” he told the newspaper.

“I mean, he has the guts to challenge it,” Abbate added, referring to the governor’s previous political battles with the dominant Republicans in the legislature.

Jared Smith, the consultant who led Beshear’s successful 2015 campaign for state attorney general, told the Courier Journal that forcing the governor to pick from a slate sidesteps the governor’s ability to make appointments.

Smith speculated, “If Mitch leaves office, I think he (Bashir) will appoint whoever he wants to appoint and allow them to challenge him in court. It’s not really a secret in Frankfurt.”

McConnell, who was re-elected in 2020, has indicated he will not step down before his term ends in 2026.

But some Kentucky Republicans said McConnell should have stepped down last year. Bob Barney, chairman of the Jessamine County Republican Party, she expressed Frustration that the legislator did not relinquish power as minority leader after the 2022 midterm elections.

“We are all very disappointed that no one else was allowed to take over as leader in 2022,” he added. Tell the post. “It would have been a wise decision at the time.”

Of course, other Republicans are on the senator’s side.

McConnell adviser Scott Jennings told The Post that the senator seemed fine during the GOP fundraiser Wednesday night.

“I watched him closely and watched him, and it was business as usual,” Jennings said.

A spokesperson for Bashir’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.


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