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Thune Continues Rise Up Senate Republican Ladder

January 24, 2012, 10:51 AM
Updated: January 24, 2012, 1:30 PM

Thune Continues Rise Up Senate Republican Ladder
Senator John Thune

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Sen. John Thune is set to become the third-highest ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate when he assumes the position of conference chairman.

Thune has been the GOP's policy committee chairman since 2009 but moves up the leadership ladder as Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee relinquishes the title.  He was elected to the post in December but the leadership change takes place Wednesday during the Republicans' annual Senate retreat at Mount Vernon.

The South Dakotan's previous leadership job involved providing colleagues and staffers with information on every bill and vote. He says his new position will involve communicating the party's message.

Thune is the highest ranking Republican senator from South Dakota since Sen. Chan Gurney of Yankton, who served as conference vice-chair, the No. 5 position, in the 1940s.

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