Barrasso passes on Senate Republican leader run

By Burgess Everett | 03/05/2024 01:15 PM EST

Instead, the Wyomingite will seek the No. 2 spot of Republican whip.

Sen. John Barrasso speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) speaking with reporters at the Capitol. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso will pass on a bid for GOP leader in the next Congress, instead pursuing the No. 2 job of party whip.

In a letter to his colleagues, obtained by POLITICO, Barrasso said the Senate GOP needs to “break from where we are now” and said he would pursue more transparency if chosen as the GOP No. 2.

Barrasso, ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also spoke with former President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning about his decision to run for whip, according to a second person familiar with the call who was also granted anonymity to speak candidly.


His decision narrows the GOP leadership race down to Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) — for now, at least. Thune is the current whip and Cornyn previously served for six years as whip, but both are term-limited out of the job.