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John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, will run for reelection to a fourth term

Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota speaks at a GOP news conference alongside Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Kevin Dietsch/Pool/AFP

  • Sen. John Thune, the GOP minority whip, will run for reelection to a fourth term in 2022. 
  • “I’m asking South Dakotans for the opportunity to continue serving them,” he said on Saturday.
  • Thune had considered retirement amid Trump’s continued grip on the party, per The New York Times.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Republican in the upper chamber and a close ally of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, will run for reelection for a fourth term after GOP leaders launched an all-out offensive to keep him in the legislative body.

“I’m asking South Dakotans for the opportunity to continue serving them in the U.S. Senate,” the senator said in a statement on Twitter. “South Dakota deserves a strong and effective senator who can deliver the results they expect. I am uniquely positioned to get that job done, and I look forward to earning the support of all South Dakotans in the 2022 election for US Senate.”

The senator in recent months informed associates that he was considering retirement, according to The New York Times, pointing to the commitments that come with congressional service and privately voicing reservations with former President Donald Trump’s continued stranglehold over the GOP.

Thune — who gained national attention when he narrowly defeated then-Democratic Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004 — has long been seen as a natural successor to McConnell in the coming years.

This story is breaking. Check back for updates.

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