Thune is widely viewed as a potential successor to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and his decision to run again is a boon to party leaders who are committed to preventing him from stepping down. But whether Thune would run again was unclear for months, as he was allegedly weighing family concerns.
Former President Donald Trump called South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to the Thune primary after predicting that the House GOP’s efforts to challenge the 2020 election results would “go down like a shot”. However, Noem publicly refused.
In a statement following his announcement, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (R-Fla.) Praised and supported Thune’s decision – a move the committee is taking with incumbent GOP senators.
“John Thune has served South Dakotans with modest strength since his first day in the Capitol, and the NRSC is proud to support his re-election in 2022,” said Scott. “Senator Thune rose through the ranks and into leadership positions, giving an overwhelming voice to farmers, ranchers, families and workers in South Dakota.”
With Thune’s announcement on Saturday and an expected announcement of Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) Re-election in the coming days, the Senate is unlikely to retire any more this year. A total of five Senate Republicans and one Senate Democrat, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, plan to leave Congress in late 2022.
61-year-old Thune was elected to the Senate in 2004 after defeating then-Democrat Tom Daschle. At the end of September, Thune had $ 14.8 million in cash.