South Dakota Senator John Thune said Tuesday in a statement he will not seek the Republican nomination for President in 2012. Thune’s name had been floated as the sole sitting senator who might make a run. After beating Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2003, Thune has quickly climbed the Senate ranks. He currently serves as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the No. 4 leadership spot in the conference. The retirement of Arizona’s Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, might have tempted Thune to stay in the Senate and continue advancing in leadership. Thune has made no official bid for Kyl’s position. Senators Lamar Alexander, the No. 3 Republican, and John Cornyn, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, are both already running for the No. 2 slot.
Thune’s statement is below:
For months now, my wife Kimberley and I have received encouragement from family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across South Dakota and the country to run for the presidency of the United States. We have appreciated hearing their concerns about where the country is headed and their hopes for a new direction.
During this time, Kimberley and I and our two daughters have given a great deal of thought to how we might best serve South Dakota and our nation. That process has involved lots of prayer.
Along the way, we have been reminded of the importance of being in the arena, of being in the fight. And make no mistake that during this period of fiscal crisis and economic uncertainty there is a fight for the future direction of America. There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now. So at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.
I want to thank those who have encouraged us and prayed for us during the past several months. We are forever grateful for all the support.
John and Kimberley