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Mitch McConnell Unanimously Elected Majority Leader by GOP (Updated) (Video)

Mitch McConnell (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:10 pm. | Senate Republicans have unanimously elected Mitch McConnell to be majority leader.  

There was little drama heading into the vote, as no one had emerged to challenge the Kentucky Republican after the party's triumph in last week's midterm elections.  

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire nominated McConnell, according to a GOP source inside the room, and Sen.-elect Tom Cotton of Arkansas gave a seconding speech. He won a voice vote without opposition and was treated to a standing ovation.  

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas was likewise selected, by voice vote without contention, as the party's whip. He was nominated by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and seconded by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota will reprise his role as conference chairman, also winning a voice vote. He was nominated by Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and seconded by Sen.-elect Cory Gardner of Colorado.  

Other leaders also keep their roles: Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and Roy Blunt of Missouri as conference vice chairman.  

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., meanwhile, faced protest votes against his continued leadership, although the top four Democrats will remain in their posts for the next Congress as they move to the minority.  

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