Most committee Republicans will be returning for the 115th Congress after winning re-election, as are Democrats on the panel. But change also is in the wind: While committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is eligible to serve two more years in that position, Democrats are preparing to choose a new ranking member for the panel.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who easily won re-election and is next in line behind Cochran, said he is willing to wait his turn to lead the committee. But Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are all said to be in the running as candidates to succeed Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) as the committee’s ranking member.