According to the New York Times, RINO John Thune is seriously considering retirement.
The report also claimed he would be a successor to McConnell if McConnell wasn’t the leader.
(There is no need for another member of the swamp to be GOP leader)
NYT: Combination of family concerns and former President Donald J. Trump’s enduring grip on the Republican Party have prompted the senator, who is in his third term, to tell associates and reporters in his home state that 2022 could be his last year in Congress.
— Vincent Lee (@Rover829) December 21, 2021
Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Senate Republican and a potential future leader, is seriously considering retiring after next year, a prospect that has set off an intensifying private campaign from other Republicans urging him to seek re-election.
Mr. Thune is only 60, but a combination of family concerns and former President Donald J. Trump’s enduring grip on the Republican Party have prompted the senator, who is in his third term, to tell associates and reporters in his home state that 2022 could be his last year in Congress.
His departure would be a blow to South Dakota, which has enjoyed outsize influence in Washington, and could upend Senate Republicans’ line of succession. Mr. Thune has been open about his ambition to lead his party’s caucus after Senator Mitch McConnell makes way, and quiet but unmistakable jockeying is already underway between him and Senators John Cornyn of Texas and John Barrasso of Wyoming.
“John is the logical successor should Mitch decide to not run again for leader,” Senator Susan Collins of Maine said of Mr. Thune, while noting that Mr. McConnell’s hold on their caucus remained “very secure.”
Thune was one of the senators who voted with Biden to raise the debt ceiling.
Trump has threatened to primary him.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to threaten to back a primary against Senate Republican Whip John Thune, who has acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and opposed efforts to challenge the Electoral College vote.
“Republicans in the Senate so quickly forget. Right now they would be down 8 seats without my backing them in the last Election,” Trump tweeted, despite the fact that he was outperformed by most Republican Senate candidates in key races.
Trump referred to Thune as a “RINO” – short for Republican In Name Only, a pejorative the president has adopted for those he perceives as opposed to him – and “Mitch’s boy” for his loyalty to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has also recognized Biden’s win.
In an apparent reference to his efforts to recruit a Republican senator to join with a group of Republican House members planning to challenge the Electoral College – over Thune’s objections – Trump said he “should just let it play out.”
“South Dakota doesn’t like weakness. He will be primaried in 2022, political career over!!!” Trump added, making Thune the latest in a series of Republican politicians against whom Trump has threatened to support primary challenges.
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