|John Randolph Thune|
|U.S. Senator from South Dakota|
From: January 3, 2005-present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|U.S. Representative from South Dakota's at-large District|
From: January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
John Randolph Thune (born January 7, 1961 in Murdo, South Dakota) is the junior United States Senator from South Dakota and a member of the Republican Party. After losing a race for the U.S. Senate by only a few hundred votes against an incumbent, Thune won the South Dakota senatorial race in 2004 by beating Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. He is an outspoken conservative and has voted with a majority of his Republican colleagues over ninety percent of the time during the current Congress. Thune serves as Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference and is on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, Armed Services Committee, and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
Thune received an undergraduate degree at Biola University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota. Thune went to Washington in 1985 when working for Senator Jim Abdnor. In 1989, at age 28, he became executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party. In 1991 Thune was appointed railroad director by Governor George Mickelson and in 1993 became Executive Director of the South Dakota Municipal League. In 1996, Thune was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating Lieutenant Governor Carole Hillard in the Republican primary, and won the general election 58%-37% over former Daschle aide Rick Weiland. Thune was chosen freshman class representative for the Republican leadership. He was reelected in 1998 by the largest margin of victory for any statewide office in South Dakota history. After losing a narrow election in 2002 for U.S. Senate, he defeated the Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004.
John Thune has been mentioned as a possible candidate for President in 2012.