SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — John Thune will seek a fourth term as a U.S. Senator in 2022.

Sen. Thune announced his plans for reelction in a tweet Saturday morning.

“I’ve always promised that I would do the work, even when it was hard uncomfortable, or unpopular. That work continues, which is why after careful consideration and prayer, and with the support of my family, I’m asking South Dakotans for the opportunity to continue serving them in the U.S. Senate. South Dakota deserves a strong and effective senator who can deliver the results they expect. I am uniquely positioned to get that job done, and I look forward to earning the support of all South Dakotans in the 2022 election for U.S. Senate,” Sen. Thune said in a statement.

Thune, who grew up in Murdo, is the No. 2 ranking Republican member of the Senate and served as the Majority Whip when Republicans controlled more seats in the Senate in 2018-2020. Speculation about Thune’s future gained national attention as the New York Times, based on a report from the Black Hills Pioneer, reported last month Thune has been considering not seeking another six-year term in the Senate.

The only South Dakotan to hold a higher position in Congress, or U.S. Government, than Thune is former Sen. Tom Daschle. The Democrat served several terms as the minority leader, then became the majority leader from 2001-2003 in the 107th Congress. Daschle lost to Thune in 2004 by 4,508 votes.

Thune first won office in 1996 as South Dakota’s lone representative in the U.S. House. He won re-election again in 1998 and 2000 but did not seek a fourth term in the House.

In 2002, he challenged former Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson and lost by 524 votes. Despite the narrow defeat, Thune ran again for Senate in 2004 and ousted Daschle.

John Thune through the years

Residing in Sioux Falls, Thune and his wife, Kimberley, have two daughters and five grandchildren.