Republican Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl’s announcement of retirement Thursday could set off a tussle for his Senate leadership position in the party, Politico rep
orts. Kyl, who will leave after his term ends next
year, is minority whip, the No. 2 Republican spot in the Senate.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander may battle for that spot. An Alexander aide tells Politico he will indeed run for it. Alexander currently occupies the No. 3 position in the Republican Senate hierarchy as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
Cornyn, who heads the esteemed National Republican Senatorial Committee, doesn’t plan to continue that role when he begins campaigning for re-election in 2014. Many politicos on Capitol Hill see Cornyn with a good chance to take the whip position if Republicans regain control of the Senate in 2012.
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