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Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell 2016 official photo.jpg
Official portrait, 2016
Senate Minority Leader
Assumed office
January 20, 2021
Deputy John Thune
Preceded by Chuck Schumer
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
Deputy
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded by Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
In office
January 3, 2015 – January 20, 2021
Deputy
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded by Chuck Schumer
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Assumed office
January 3, 1985
Serving with Rand Paul
Preceded by Walter Huddleston
Leader of the Senate Republican Conference
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Deputy
Preceded by Bill Frist
Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Leader Bill Frist
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded by Dick Durbin
Chair of the Senate Rules Committee
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Chris Dodd
Succeeded by Chris Dodd
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by John Warner
Succeeded by Chris Dodd
Judge/Executive of Jefferson County
In office
1977–1984
Preceded by Todd Hollenbach III
Succeeded by Bremer Ehrler
Acting United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs
In office
1975
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Vincent Rakestraw
Succeeded by Michael Uhlmann
Personal details
Born
Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr.

February 20, 1942 (1942-02-20) (age 79)
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
  • Sherrill Redmon
    (m. 1968; div. 1980)
  • Elaine Chao (m. 1993)
Children 3
Residence Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Education
Net worth $22.5 million (estimate)
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service July 9, 1967, to August 15, 1967 (37 days) (medical separation)
Unit United States Army Reserve

Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. (born February 20, 1942) is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he is the Minority Leader of the Senate, succeeding Chuck Schumer. He is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.

Early life

Mitch McConnell was born to Julia (née Shockley) and Addison Mitchell McConnell at Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama on February 20, 1942. He grew up in segregated Athens, Alabama; his family owned slaves and cotton plantations in the area generations before him. They moved to southern Louisville, Kentucky and McConnell attended the duPont Manual High School. In 1964, he graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a B.A. in political science. He graduated in 1967 from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Career

In 1984, McConnell ran for the United States Senate against two-term Democratic incumbent Walter "Dee" Huddleston. The election race wasn't decided until the last polls returned came in, and McConnell won by a thin margin—only 5,200 votes out of more than 1.8 million votes cast, just over 0.4%.

McConnell was the only Republican Senate challenger to win that year, despite Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in the presidential election. Part of McConnell's success came from a series of television campaign spots called "Where's Dee", which featured a group of bloodhounds trying to find Huddleston, implying that Huddleston's attendance record in the Senate was less than stellar. It is likely that he was helped by Ronald Reagan's 21-point win in Kentucky that year. His campaign bumper stickers and television ads asked voters to "Switch to Mitch".

McConnell has repeatedly been found to have the lowest home state approval rating of any sitting senator.

Personal life

McConnell is a member of the Baptist Church. His first wife was Sherrill Redmon, from whom he was later divorced; they have three daughters. His second wife, whom he married in 1993, is Elaine Chao, the current Secretary of Transportation under Donald Trump and the former Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush (the first Asian American woman to serve in the Cabinet).

Senator McConnell's personal fortune was between $9,839,049 to $44,587,000 in 2010 and he was ranked as the 10th wealthiest member of the U.S. Senate.

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