WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, who lost his leadership post in 2002 because of racially insensitive remarks, was elected as his party's second in command.
The Mississippi Republican returned to the Senate GOP leadership by beating Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee for minority whip, The Washington Post said Wednesday. He was ousted as majority leader four years ago over remarks during a birthday celebration for Sen. Strom Thurmond, D-S.C.
Lott will be the GOP's No. 2 to Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who was unanimously elected minority leader in the Democratic-led Senate when it convenes in January. McConnell, who ran unopposed, replaces Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, who is retiring from Congress.
"I know Mitch's focus and perseverance will serve him well as Republican leader," Frist said in a news release.
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona was elected chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. Rounding out the GOP leadership team are Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, Senate Republican Conference vice chairman; Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Republican Policy Committee chairwoman; and Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman.