Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention this week, in support of President Trump‘s reelection to the White House. Here are some fast facts about the GOP lawmaker and how he became a party leader.
McConnell, 78, is married to Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. He was first elected to the Senate in 1984 and is the state’s longest-serving senator. He was elected to his sixth term in 2014 and is up for reelection again in November.
The Kentucky Republican graduated with honors from the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences and served as student body president. He also graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was elected president of the Student Bar Association.
The Republican lawmaker interned on Capitol Hill before serving as a chief legislative assistant to Sen. Marlow Cook and Deputy Assistant Attorney General to President Gerald Ford.
Before his election to the Senate, he was a judge-executive of Jefferson County from 1978 until he began serving his first Senate term in 1985.
He’s been named to the TIME Magazine 100 Most Influential People in the World list and has been credited with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court after he blocked an effort by then-President Barack Obama to nominate Merrick Garland to a seat vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia — a move described by some legal scholars as unprecedented — more than seven months before Trump’s election.
McConnell, who is a father of three, has also been praised for expediting the confirmations of Trump’s federal judiciary nominees and has been cited by the president on multiple occasions, for assisting with his administration’s effort to fill the court system with conservatives.
He was first elected Majority Leader in 2014 and again in 2016 and 2018. He is only the second Kentuckian to ever serve as Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate and had previously served in leadership as the Majority Whip in the 108th and 109th Congresses.
McConnell is slated to speak at the GOP convention on Thursday evening.