Longtime Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced this week he plans to step down from Senate leadership following the end of the current Congress. Sen. McConnell does plan to complete his current Senate term, however, which runs through 2026.

The longest servicing Senate leader in history, McConnell has led the Senate Republican conference since 2007.

First elected to the Senate in 1984, McConnell entered Senate Republican leadership as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 1998, followed by his election as Majority Whip in 2002. In 2006, McConnell was elected Senate minority leader, holding the position until Republicans gained control of the Senate in the 2014 elections. McConnell held the Senate Majority Leader position with Republicans in power until 2021, when the Senate flipped to Democrat control.

Those next in line to replace McConnell at the top of Senate Republican leadership include current Majority Whip Sen. John Thune (R-SD), former Majority Whip and Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and current Chair of the Senate Republican Conference Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).