Mitch McConnell’s illustrious Senate career first began when he became the first Republican to win a statewide race in Kentucky in sixteen years. That year, McConnell was the only Republican in the country to defeat a Democratic incumbent. Since then McConnell has been reelected by the people of Kentucky five times and is widely considered to be one of the most effective lawmakers in Washington.
McConnell’s service of conservative leadership is defined by legislative battles in defense of the Constitution, his consummate support for military men and women, protection of taxpayers, and unapologetic advocacy for the people of Kentucky. From his then-unprecedented legislative maneuvering in defense of the First Amendment in the 1990s, to his widely-praised efforts on behalf of veterans, to his support of Kentucky’s universities of higher education, and to his ongoing work to dispose of chemical weapons stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot, Senator McConnell’s list of accomplishments are only trumped by his agenda for the future.
On November 15, 2006 McConnell was unanimously elected Senate Republican Leader by his colleagues making him only the second Senator from Kentucky in history to lead his party in the U.S. Senate. He has twice been reelected unanimously to lead his party in the Senate and currently presides over a robust minority of 47 members.
McConnell was raised in south Louisville and graduated with honors from the University of Louisville. During his time at the University of Louisville, McConnell served as the president of the student body for the College of Arts and Sciences. He graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was elected president of the Student Bar Association. McConnell gained experience working on Capitol Hill as an intern for Senator John Sherman Cooper. McConnell took the position of chief legislative assistant to Senator Marlow Cook and later he served as a deputy assistant attorney general under President Gerald R. Ford. Before his election to the U.S. Senate, McConnell served as County Judge-Executive (the elected Chief Executive Officer) in Jefferson County (Louisville), Kentucky.
Senator McConnell is married to the Honorable Elaine L. Chao, who served as United States Secretary of Labor from 2000 – 2008, and is a former president of the United Way of America and director of the Peace Corps. Senator McConnell is the proud father of three daughters, Elly, Claire, and Porter.