WASHINGTON (UPI) —
Sen. John Thune announced Saturday that he would run for re-election in 2022 in South Dakota, setting the Senate Republican whip to possibly serve as the successor to Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
“South Dakota is the best state in the nation in which to live, work, and raise a family, and I’ve been continually humbled by the support and trust its people have afforded me over the years,” Thune said in a statement.
“I’ve always promised that I would do the work, even when it was hard, uncomfortable, or unpopular. That work continues, which is why after careful consideration and prayer, and with the support of my family, I’m asking South Dakotans for the opportunity to continue serving them in the U.S. Senate.”
Thune, who has previously clashed with former President Donald Trump, was publicly urged by McConnell in comments to the Hugh Hewitt radio show
to run for a fourth term in December amid rumors that his second-in-command was considering retirement.
“It would be a real setback for the country and for our party if he retires, and I certainly hope he won’t,” McConnell said at the time.
Thune’s announcement comes after a series of retirements
from long-serving Republicans and Democrats, putting the state of party majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives up in the air ahead of the midterm elections.
Thune, 61, remains popular with South Dakotans after defeating then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a Democrat, in 2004 for his first term in the Senate and quickly rose through the ranks. He previously served in the House from 1997 to 2003.
Reporting by Adam Schrader
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