No. 2 GOP Sen. Thune Weighs Retirement, ‘Closing in on Decision’

No. 2 GOP Sen. Thune Weighs Retirement, 'Closing in on Decision'

(Newsmax/"Rob Schmitt Tonight")

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By Eric Mack | Tuesday, 21 December 2021 06:28 PM

Despite potentially rising to Senate majority leader after the 2022 midterms if he wins reelection and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., decides against running for leader, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is seriously considering retirement.

"I'm closing in on a decision that I've said I'll announce it by the end of the year; we're coming up on it," Thune told Newsmax's "Rob Schmitt Tonight" last week.

Former President Donald Trump has derided Thune as "Mitch's boy," The New York Times reported Monday, suggesting that would put him squarely in the crosshairs of the former president in a potential South Dakota GOP Senate primary.

"I'm not ready to make any news," Thune told host Rob Schmitt. "We have a leader. He's not going anywhere. I have a job that consumes a lot of time, trying to make sure that we keep all of our folks on the team when the time comes when we have these tough votes.

"I'm glad to serve where I am. There's a lot of reasons to run for reelection, and some maybe not so good ones, so we're sorting through that."

Thune was a vocal detractor of Trump's challenge of the 2020 presidential election amid allegations of Democrats in swing states having changed the election process under the guise of COVID-19 without getting it approved by the state legislatures.

"I certainly hope that he will run for reelection, and that's certainly what I and others have been encouraging him to do all year long," McConnell told the Times.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an ally to both, has told Thune he would not be a target of Trump.

"I told John that'll be fine," Graham told the Times. "John will be fine."

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