Senator John Randolph Thune is an American businessman and politician. He has been serving as a senior U.S. Senator from South Dakota under the Republicans since 2004. He was also a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2003.
Senator John Thune was born in Pierre, South Dakota, on January 7, 1961. He graduated from Jones County High School in 1979. There, he was featured in several athletic games, including field and track games for his school.
Senator John Thune continued at Biola University, where he earned his B.A. degree in Business in 1983. He furthered and received a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Dakota in 1984.
Senator John Thune Career
Thune delved into politics after his Master’s degree. He worked as an aide for Senator Andor from 1985 to 1987. Two years later, he moved back to Pierre. There, he served as the executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party.
In 1991, he was appointed as the state’s Railroad Director and served till 1993. He was also appointed as the executive director of the state’s Municipal League till 1996.
After his service as the Municipal League director, Thune decided to enter the state’s electoral politics. In 1996, he announced his candidacy for a lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Although he was new, he defeated the state’s lieutenant governor in the primaries. He subsequently won the general election by 58%. He was re-elected in 1998 and 2000.
Thune considered running for the governorship position in 2002. But, he backed off on his decision and went to the U.S. Senate instead. Unfortunately, he lost the election to Senator Tim Johnson with only 514 votes.
In 2004, he ran for the Senate seat again. He defeated Tom Daschle, a Senate Minority Leader and leader of the Senate Democrats. He was re-elected in 2010 and 2016.
Senator John Thune Accomplishments
Thune’s administration focused on environmental protection. He was among the Senators that voted against the Green New Deal resolution. He was also among the Senators that wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
The letter was written to address the market instability that Daily farmers faced. The letter also urged the department to encourage the farmers’ adoption of the Dairy Margin Coverage Program.
He worked relentlessly for the passage of the comprehensive energy bill. He also advocated for the development of an alternative source of energy. This led to the development and use of wind and ethanol energy in the state.
Thune introduced the Reliable Homing Heat Act. Apart from these, Thune has also sponsored and supported several bills for the development of the energy sector in the state.
Thunder also worked hard to secure affordable and quality healthcare for his people. He was one of the Senators that drafted the Senate version of the American Health Care Act. He was also one of the senators that worked towards the discounted price of drugs.
Thune was also a key figure in the formation of foreign policies as well as trade policies in the Senate.
Senator John Thune Criticisms
Thune was part of the Senators that signed an anti-nuclear deal letter to the Iranian government. The letter warned the Iranian government against signing a nuclear deal with the President. But, the whole process attracted backlashes from the U.S. government.
He was also part of the 14 Senators that filibustered Obama’s drone policy. But, the policy was rejected due to Obama’s inability to clarify some concerns.
Thune was also criticized for voting against creating a commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection.
Senator John Thune Net Worth
Since his election to the Senate, Thune’s administration has made significant legislative achievements towards serving his people. He has taken a leading role in improving the state’s energy sector.
But he was criticized for signing a controversial letter that attracted backlashes. He was also criticized for voting against an independent commission to look into the Jan. 6 insurrection in 2021.
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