Sen. John Cornyn, viewed as the logical successor to Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will first take a smaller leadership role as counselor to the Republican Senate caucus in the next Congress.
Cornyn, R-Texas, currently serves as No. 2 in leadership, but must give up that role next year because of term limits for the office imposed by Senate Republicans.
GOP senators will pick their new leaders Wednesday. All of the current leaders are term-limited in their current roles except McConnell. The Kentucky Republican is expected to continue as majority leader.
Cornyn, 66, will attend weekly leadership meetings and provide guidance and input on the GOP’s policy agenda, McConnell’s communications director David Popp told the Star-Telegram Tuesday.
“The leader has offered and Senator Cornyn has accepted a position at the Leadership table as a counselor in the next Congress,” said Popp.
Current counselors include Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska, and Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi.
Cornyn twice chaired the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, and raised millions of dollars for his colleagues on the ballot this fall.
He last ran for the Senate in Texas in 2014, when he defeated Democrat David Alameel with more than 61 percent of the vote.
Cornyn told reporters in Texas this week that he’s already gearing up for a potentially tougher race this fall.
Texas’ junior Sen. Ted Cruz was re-elected earlier this month with less than 51 percent of the vote in his race against Democrat Beto O’Rourke — the closest Texas Senate race in a generation.