Thune confirms he's running to succeed McConnell as next Senate GOP leader

1 month ago 29

Senate Minority Whip John Thune formally confirmed to local South Dakota media that he's running to succeed Mitch McConnell as Senate GOP leader.

"I hope to be [leader]," Thune said to South Dakota's KELO in a clip posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday. "I'm going to do everything I can to convince my colleagues."

Thune joins Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who previously held the post Thune now occupies, as formally declared candidates to become Senate Republican leader. Others are expected to join the race.

The veteran South Dakota legislator declined to directly answer whether former President Donald Trump's refusal to accept his loss in the 2020 presidential election gave Thune pause before he endorsed the presumptive GOP nominee this cycle.

"I've said what I've said — and I'm not going to re-litigate it," Thune said. "The important thing now is ... that we move forward in a way that hopefully gets this country back on track."

Asked about his decision to endorse Trump, Thune said: "I let the process play out ... At this point now, it's really down to Biden and Trump. And that, to me, is a very clear choice."

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