Sen. Thune Looks to Succeed McConnell as Republican Leader

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Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., announced on Monday that he will throw his hat in the ring to succeed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

On Wednesday of last week, McConnell told his colleagues that he was stepping down after a 17-year run as the head of the Republicans.

Speaking to different media outlets in South Dakota, Thune was asked if he wanted to be the Republican’s new leader.

Speaking to KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Thune said, “Well, I hope to be [leader], and I’m going to do everything I can to convince my colleagues. They’re the voters. They’re the ones who ultimately make the decision. But that as we look at a new generation of consistent, principled, conservative leadership in the United States Senate that empowers our Senate Republicans, that puts a check and balanced against the Schumer, what has been a very liberal Schumer-Biden agenda, I’m prepared to lead that effort.”

Thune also spoke to Dakota News Now saying that the Republicans would benefit from “a new generation of consistent, principled, conservative leadership for Republicans in the United States Senate that empowers our individual members, gets back to doing things under regular order, which has gone by the wayside under the leadership of Chuck Schumer as he’s been the majority leader,” he said. “I think this is a real opportunity. Any transition is a chance for a reset. In my view, this is a chance for a reset and I’d like to be a part of it.”

On Sunday, Thune received endorsement from fellow Senate Republicans Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma.

Several names have been floated to replace McConnell with Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., already having expressed interest in the position. Independent presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr. expressed his desire to see Rand Paul take over, posting on X “I believe @RandPaul would be an incredible successor. He’s shown great judgment and has the grit to put hardworking Americans first.”

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