Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is working with the Kentucky legislature to change the current seat vacancy laws when a Senate seat has been vacated before an election.
McConnell has been in the Senate since 1985. Last November he made short work of the election by winning his seventh term.
Kentucky Republicans told the Intercept, “McConnell has compiled a shortlist of successors in his home state of Kentucky, preparing for the possibility that he does not serve out his full term.”
The report said:
The list is topped by his protégé, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and also includes former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, whose billionaire coal magnate husband is a major McConnell donor, as well as Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, a former McConnell Scholar.
Currently, in Kentucky, the power to appoint when a seat is vacant goes to the Governor, who is Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY).
Senate Bill 228 was filed on February 10, 2021, during the General Assembly’s short session. If the bill becomes law, filling the vacancy would come from a list of three names that are submitted by an executive committee of the same political party as the senator who held the seat before vacating. Also, that appointee would serve until a successor has been elected by voters.
The legislation is informally referred to by some people as the Daniel Cameron Election Bill, due to Cameron being one of McConnell’s top protégés.
Republican state Sen. Tom Buford (R-KY) told the Intercept there has been discussion about this type of change for many years. “No specific reason why now, ” said Buford. Citing he believes McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) have been in good health.
A spokesperson for McConnell said, “Leader McConnell has discussed the legislation with [Senate] President Stivers and is fully supportive of the measure.” according to the report.