South Dakota GOP Sen. John Thune kept even his fellow party leaders guessing as to whether or not he would seek re-election, but he ultimately announced in early 2022 that he would seek a fourth term. Thune, who’s currently the No. 2 Senate Republican, should easily win, and he’s a frontrunner also to succeed Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell one day as the GOP leader.

Thune, who as Senate Minority Whip is McConnell’s chief deputy, was heavily lobbied by his peers to run again. Former President Trump had tried to recruit South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to primary Thune after he threw cold water on House Republicans’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election, saying such an endeavor would “go down like a shot dog.” Noem declined and is running for her own re-election.

There are three Republicans challenging Thune, but none of them have a real shot at ousting Thune. At the end of March, the incumbent had more than $16 million in his campaign coffers. National Guard Veteran Bruce Whalen has $26,000 in the bank, while musician Mark

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