South Dakota Senator John Thune running for re-election
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Senator John Thune, number 2 Senate Republican, announced on Saturday that he would seek re-election in 2022, positioning himself as the likely successor to GOP leader Mitch McConnell.
Thune, 61, had considered stepping down from the Senate, but amid public pressure from McConnell and other GOP leaders, the South Dakota The Republican has said he will run for a fourth term.
“I always promised that I would do the job, even when it was difficult, uncomfortable or unpopular,” Thune said in a statement on Saturday, looking back on his years in power. “This work continues, which is why, after much thought and prayer, and with the support of my family, I ask the South Dakotas for the opportunity to continue serving them in the United States Senate.”
MESSAGE FROM MCCONNELL TO THUNE: “THE COUNTRY NEEDS HIM IN THE SENATE”
Money, which as Senate the minority whip is the second Republican in the House standing, and is eligible for re-election next year for another six-year term. Thune was one of two GOP senators – along with Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin – who had yet to announce whether he would run in the 2022 midterm election.
Johnson is also expected to officially announce that he will seek re-election as early as next week, the Associated Press reports.
Republicans need a net gain of just one seat in the 2022 mid-term to regain the house majority they lost when they were swept away by Democrats in the second round of Georgia’s Jan.5 senatorial elections. And Thune would be one of the best contenders to succeed McConnell, 79, any time he is ready to step down as GOP leader in the Senate.
Thune, which remains very popular in its native state of South Dakota and nearing the end of his third term (after serving six years in the House of Representatives) in the Senate, raised eyebrows last month.
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The senator told a reporter from South Dakota that his wife Kimberley wanted him to go home.
“She’s done with it,” Thune said in an interview with the Pioneer of the Black Hills.
McConnell and others, however, pressured Thune to stay.
“His party needs him in the Senate and the country needs him in the Senate,” McConnell told Fox News “America Reports” when asked about Thune.
Thune began his career in Washington in 1997 as a member of Congress and entered the Senate in 2005.
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“South Dakota deserves a strong, effective senator who can deliver the results they want,” Thune said in her statement. “I am uniquely positioned to do this job, and I look forward to winning the support of all South Dakotas in the 2022 election for the United States Senate.”
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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