Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is running to chair the Senate Republican campaign arm, a spokesperson for the senator confirmed to The Hill.
Scott, who joined the Senate in 2019 after serving eight years as Florida’s governor, is so far the only GOP senator known to be running for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairmanship.
Senate Republicans are poised to hold their leadership elections next week, though which party will control the chamber won’t be clear until Jan. 5 when Georgia will hold two runoff elections.
Scott, who has deep pockets and ties throughout the party, has long been viewed as interested in helming the NRSC and is viewed as a potential 2024 presidential contender.
A Washington Post interview in November 2018 noted that when asked about chairing the NRSC Scott “sounded open to it,” while not ruling it in or out. Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungRick Scott running to chair Senate GOP campaign arm GOP Senate campaign chairman: ‘Clear path’ to keeping Senate majority Reestablishing American prosperity by investing in the ‘Badger Belt’ MORE (R-Ind.) ultimately chaired the NRSC during the 2020 cycle.
If Scott is elected to chair the Senate campaign arm — Senate leadership elections take place behind closed doors and then are publicly announced — he will oversee a map where at least 21 GOP seats will be up. If GOP Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerRick Scott running to chair Senate GOP campaign arm How a tied Senate could lead a divided America McConnell, Graham warn GOP Senate majority on the line in Georgia MORE (R-Ga.) wins a runoff election in early July, that would give Republicans 22 seats to defend in November 2022.
Democrats, by comparison, will only be defending 12 seats.
Republicans are poised to hold between 50 to 52 Senate seats in January, depending on the outcome of the two Georgia runoffs.
Republicans who will be up for reelection include Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRick Scott running to chair Senate GOP campaign arm Alaska Senate race sees cash surge in final stretch Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court MORE (Alaska), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanRick Scott running to chair Senate GOP campaign arm Graham wants to review ActBlue’s source of small-dollar contributions GOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election MORE (Ohio), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonRick Scott running to chair Senate GOP campaign arm Sunday shows preview: The final push to Election Day Georgia Republican Drew Ferguson tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (Wis.) and Scott’s fellow Floridian Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRick Scott running to chair Senate GOP campaign arm Rubio sends cryptic tweet about villains, ‘crooked talk’ Hillicon Valley: Officials on alert for potential cyber threats after a quiet Election Day | Officials warn delayed vote count could lead to flood of disinformation | Facebook takes down massive ‘Stop the Steal’ group MORE.
Republicans will also be trying to hold onto seats in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA’s bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE (R-Pa.) announced last month that he would retire instead of seeking reelection and Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrRick Scott running to chair Senate GOP campaign arm As Trump downplayed the virus publicly, memo based on private briefings sparked stock sell-offs: NYT Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns MORE (R-N.C.) has previously pledged to retire.