Thune Not Running for President

By Beacon Staff

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who spoke at a Heritage Foundation event in Kalispell in October and was on nearly every political observers short list for potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates, has decided not to run for the nation’s highest office.

Thune and his wife Kimberley posted a statement on his website, which read, in part, “There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now. So at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.”

Earlier this month, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Thune came in 10th in an unscientific straw poll of about 3,700 activists. At the time, Thune said the findings wouldn’t dissuade him from running.

Matt Lewis at <a href="http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/02/22/john-thune-wont-run-for-president/" title="Politics Daily writes that”>Politics Daily writes that, “Thune’s decision may boost the chances of other potential candidates from the Midwest, such as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.”

Pawlenty hasn’t yet announced his intentions. It will be interesting to see which high-profile candidates declare before the first scheduled GOP presidential debate a little more than two months from now.

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