Mitch McConnell

United States Senator from Kentucky

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 Majority Leader of the Senate, succeeding Harry Reid. He is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.[1]

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell 2016 official photo (cropped).jpg
Senate Majority Leader
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
DeputyJohn Cornyn
John Thune
Preceded byHarry Reid
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Assumed office
January 3, 1985
Serving with Rand Paul
Preceded byWalter Huddleston
Senate Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
DeputyTrent Lott
Jon Kyl
John Cornyn
Preceded byHarry Reid
Succeeded byHarry Reid
Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
LeaderBill Frist
Preceded byHarry Reid
Succeeded byDick Durbin
Chair of the Senate Rules Committee
In office
January 3, 1999 – June 6, 2001
Preceded byJohn Warner
Succeeded byChris Dodd
Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2001
LeaderTrent Lott
Preceded byAl D'Amato
Succeeded byBill Frist
Judge-Executive of Jefferson County
In office
Preceded byTodd Hollenbach III
Succeeded byBremer Ehrler
United States Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs
In office
PresidentGerald Ford
Preceded byVincent Rakestraw
Succeeded byMichael Uhlmann
Personal details
Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr.

(1942-02-20) February 20, 1942 (age 78)
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Sherrill Redmon (1968–1980)
Elaine Chao (1993–present)
EducationUniversity of Louisville (BA)
University of Kentucky (JD)
WebsiteSenate website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1967
UnitUnited States Army Reserve

Early lifeEdit

Mitch McConnell was born to Julia (née Shockley) and Addison Mitchell McConnell in Sheffield, Alabama on February 20, 1942.[2] He grew up in segregated Athens, Alabama; his family owned slaves and cotton plantations in the area generations before him.[3] 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.


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%.[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,[5][6] 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.[7][8]

Personal lifeEdit

McConnell is a member of the Baptist Church. His first wife was Sherrill Redmon,[9] 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.[10]


  1. "McConnell becomes longest-serving senator from Kentucky". Larue County (Kentucky) Herald Tribune. January 14, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  2. "Mitch McConnell at Political Base". Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  3. Mazza, Sandy. "In McConnell's boyhood town where his family owned slaves, the reparations debate thrives". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  4. Mark R. Chellgren (November 7, 1984). "Dee upset by McConnell in close race". Williamson Daily News. Retrieved Feb. 13, 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. "McConnell Attacks Huddleston - Part 1 video". Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  6. "McConnell Attacks Huddleston - Part 2 video". Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  7. Ostermeier, Dr. Eric (November 29, 2015). "Which States Give Their US Senators the Lowest Marks?". Smart Politics. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  8. Cirilli, Kevin (December 12, 2012). "Poll: The most unpopular senator". POLITICO. Politico LLC. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  9. John E. Kleber, Kentucky Bicentennial Commission, Thomas Dionsius Clark, and Lowell H. Harrison, "The Kentucky Encyclopedia", University Press of Kentucky, 1992, page 592, accessdate 2010-07-30
  10. (2010-12-03). "Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 2010". Retrieved 2011-02-13.

Other websitesEdit