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New GOP leadership for Senate

Nov. 10, 2006 at 10:18 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Republicans, with Sen. Mitch McConnell leading the way, are jockeying for leadership positions when the 110th Congress convenes next January in Washington.

McConnell, R-Ky. is expected to replace the current Republican leader, Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who did not seek re-election. And Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., says he has enough votes to become the GOP whip, succeeding McConnell, The Hill, a Washington newspaper, reported.

"Based on a number of telephone calls and visits I know I have a majority of votes in the contest for whip and I'm now working on a consensus," Alexander told The Hill.

He said he's received support from several Republicans who had planned to back Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., for whip. Santorum lost his bid for re-election Tuesday to Democrat Bob Casey Jr.

"The words I hear most often from senators that have decided to vote for me is that we need one unified leadership position and that in the No. 2 position I would complement Senator McConnell," Alexander said to The Hill.

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