Republican Senators will gather in a special Conference meeting to conduct their leadership elections on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 9:30 a.m., according to an e-mail sent to members Tuesday night.The location for the balloting has yet to be determined. The session is being held to fill any leadership vacancies resulting from Minority Whip Trent Lott's (Miss.) resignation next month. Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), the current Conference chairman, is running uncontested for Lott's Whip job, but in advancing up the leadership hierarchy Kyl will create an opening for his post.The Conference chairmanship has quickly attracted a crowded field of at least three contenders: Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Richard Burr (N.C.). Sen. John Thune (S.D.) is also eyeing a possible bid.-- Erin P. Billings
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.