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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced during a leadership position speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday that he plans to step down from his leadership role after the November elections.

McConnell cited his wife’s younger sisters’ death for the reason for the decision, saying that it has been a difficult time for the family.

“When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there’s a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process,” McConnell said. “Perhaps it is God’s way of reminding you of your own life’s journey to reprioritize the impact of the world that we will all inevitably leave behind. I turned 82 last week and the end of my contributions are closer than I’d prefer.”

“One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” he said in prepared remarks reported by The Associated Press. “So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”

McConnell was first elected in 1984 during the Reagan administration, and is now the longest serving Senate leader in American history.

“If you would have told me 40 years later that I would stand before you as the longest serving Senate leader in American history, frankly, I would have thought you’d lost your mind,” McConnell said.

McConnell has said that he will finish out his current term in the Senate which ends in January 2027.

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