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Thune Announces Bid to Succeed McConnell, Setting Up Senate GOP Leadership Battle

Credits: CNN

Senate GOP Whip John Thune has announced his candidacy for the Republican leader, setting the stage for a contested battle for the top position in the Senate GOP hierarchy. This marks the first major shakeup at the top of the Senate GOP in nearly two decades.

Thune, speaking to Keloland News in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, expressed his desire to succeed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has held the post since 2007 and announced last week that he would step aside at the end of the year.

“I hope to be,” Thune said when asked if he wanted to be a Republican leader. “And I will do everything I can to convince my colleagues. They’re the voters. They’re the ones who will ultimately make the decision.”

Thune (Credits: The Hill)

Thune will compete against at least one other Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, a former whip and Senate GOP campaign chairman who announced his bid last week.

Other potential contenders include Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, former President Donald Trump urged to seek the position, and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who has not ruled out a bid.

However, Daines has not confirmed his interest in the position. Meanwhile, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the current No. 3 Senate Republican, is reportedly opting to run for the GOP whip position.

The election for the Republican leader won’t be held until after the November elections and will be conducted by secret ballot. Thune emphasized his commitment to helping Republicans serve as a “check and balance” against the Democratic agenda.

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