Politics

Mitch McConnell Is Already Running for Re-Election — In 2020

Formally announced his plans in Kentucky on Saturday

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday that he will seek re-election in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proved again this weekend he won’t be caught asleep at the wheel when it comes to his own campaigns in Kentucky.

McConnell formally announced Saturday his plans to seek a seventh term, speaking at a Republican breakfast in western Kentucky ahead of the Fancy Farm picnic, which is the bipartisan political event of the year in the commonwealth.

“I’m going to be running for re-election in 2020,” McConnell said. “I don’t like starting late.”

The McConnell announcement was not exactly a surprise.

During his speech later in the day at Fancy Farm itself, McConnell made his case for why having a Kentuckian in the office of majority leader is a boon for Kentucky. Even without the opportunity to enact congressional earmarks, McConnell had plenty to offer the local crowd.

“As you’ve heard before, Kentucky farmers want to grow industrial hemp,” McConnell said. “So I put a provision in the Senate version of the farm bill to legalize industrial hemp. I’m grateful for Congressman Comer’s support, and soon, soon President Trump will be signing this new farm bill into law making it possible for us to grow hemp.”

Republican Rep. James R. Comer was the Kentucky agriculture commissioner before his election to the House. He promoted hemp research in that previous role. The farm bill is currently in conference between the two chambers, and McConnell appointed himself as a conferee.

McConnell also highlighted provisions in the recently-passed bundle of Senate spending bills designed to tackle invasive species.

“Here in Kentucky, we’re worried about the Asian Carp in our lakes. I wanted to stop the invasion, and I recently put a lot of money in a federal bill to go after Asian Carp,” he said.

Watch: Trump’s Tweets, Shutdown Threats Muddy the Waters Less Than 100 Days From Midterms

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