Capitol Hill (AP) -- Trent Lott is returning to the Senate leadership.
The Mississippi Republican defeated Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander in the race for the Republican's number two spot next year, when Democrats will be in control.
Another lawmaker told reporters that Lott defeated Alexander by a single vote.
Lott stepped down as Majority Leader four years ago because of remarks considered racially insensitive. With the GOP set to be in the minority, he stressed his experience.
Alexander had campaigned for the post for 18 months, saying the GOP needed "some new faces and some fresh themes."
Earlier, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell was unanimously elected as Minority Leader in the upcoming Senate.
Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.