Jon Kyl Running To Replace Trent Lott

By the end of the day today, Trent Lott will announce that he’s leaving the Senate by the end of 2008 and, of course, stepping down as Senate Minority Whip.

This morning, The Politico is reporting that Arizona’s Jon Kyl will run to replace Lott as Republican Minority Whip:

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) will run for Senate minority whip, according to a source close to the Arizona Republican.

“Kyl is running for whip,” confirmed the source.

Kyl is seeking to replace Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who is preparing to announce later today that he will be retiring from the Senate in the next few weeks. Lott has scheduled two press conferences in Mississippi for later today.

Kyl, currently the number three Senate Republican as Republican Conference chairman, is the chief spokesman for the party. He was re-elected to a third term in 2006 by a 53-43 point margin over Democrat Jim Pederson.

The reason this might be good news ? Well, Kyl earned a 90.0 in the most recent Liberty Index put out by the Republican Liberty Caucus. Not perfect, and not a perfect measurement, but it’s a sign that Kyl, like other members of the Class of `94 that are still around, are better on economic and liberty issues than guys like Lott, and their ascendancy to leadership positions is arguably a good thing.