South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune, an ally of McConnell who has been criticized by Trump, will seek reelection - The Washington Post

"South Dakota deserves a strong and effective senator who can deliver the results they expect," he said in a statement. "I am uniquely positioned to get that job done, and I look forward to earning the support of South Dakotans in the 2022 election for U.S. Senate."

A former chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and former chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, Thune first came to Capitol Hill in 1997 as a representative of South Dakota's lone district, serving three terms before joining the Senate in 2004.

Thune's decision has been closely watched because he is considered a candidate for Republican leader whenever McConnell steps aside and because he has been on the receiving end of harsh criticism from former president Donald Trump, a situation that has caused other Republicans to leave Congress.

Story continues below advertisement

In December 2020, when Trump was still president, Thune drew his wrath when he criticized efforts by House Republicans to challenge the results of the election on Jan. 6, saying it would "go down like a shot dog."

Trump labeled him "Mitch's boy" and a Republican in name only while urging Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) to challenge Thune in a primary. Noem, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, indicated she had no interest in a Senate bid.

Thune first won his Senate seat in 2004 after a competitive and expensive race against Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle, ending Daschle's 18-year run in the chamber. Daschle was the Senate Democratic leader at the time of his defeat.

Thune has, of late, pushed against the House investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which was carried out by supporters of the former president. Thune has said investigating the attack could hurt Republican chances in the 2022 midterms.

Story continues below advertisement

"A lot of our members, and I think this is true of a lot of House Republicans, want to be moving forward and not looking backward," Thune told CNN in May. "Anything that gets us rehashing the 2020 elections I think is a day lost on being able to draw a contrast between us and the Democrats' very radical left-wing agenda."

0/Post a Comment/Comments