Thune passes on NRSC Job
Sen. John Thune said Sunday that he would not seek the job as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a position seen as a springboard to the upper echelon of GOP Senate leadership.Thune confirmed in an interview with the Journal late Sunday afternoon that he had told Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, on Thursday that he would not run for the committee chairman’s spot. That ended months of speculation that Thune — who rose quickly to prominence for a freshman senator after his upset win two years ago over Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle — might take over fundraising and candidate recruitment efforts for the GOP in the 2008 elections.
Before a tour of the Eastridge Fire area Sunday, Thune said he struggled with the decision about the chairman’s job for months. But finally, he decided that his obligations to his family and demanding South Dakota issues took precedence over the campaign position, Thune said.
“I’m going to take a pass. It’s not the right fit for me, at least not right now. I still have a daughter at home, and this would have meant missing a lot of her activities,” Thune said. “And in terms of the stuff I have to focus on for South Dakota right now, I just didn’t think I had the bandwidth to do it all.”
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