- John Thune
When the race began in early 2004, Daschle led by 7 points in January and February. By May, his lead minimized to just 2 points and into the summer polls showed an effective tie. Throughout September, Daschle led Thune by margins of 2-5%; from October until the November 2 election, most polls showed Thune and Daschle tied 49-49 among likely voters.
November 2, 2004, Thune defeated Daschle by 4,508 votes, winning 51% of the vote and became a well-known Republican figure in the U.S. Senate. Daschle's loss was the first ousting of a serving Senate Majority or Minority Leader since 1952, when Arizona Senator Ernest McFarlandlost his seat to Barry Goldwater.
Thune was chosen to be the GOP's Chief Deputy Whip. He also serves on the Senate's Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry; Commerce, Science & Transportation; Small Business & Entrepreneurship; and Armed Services Committees. [ [http://thune.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Committees.Home United States Senator - John Thune ] ] Senator Thune is also a
ranking memberon the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support. [ [http://armed-services.senate.gov/scmembrs.htm#subrm Committee on Armed Services ] ]
Soon after arriving in the Senate, Thune wrote language into a transportation bill expanding the pot of federal loan money for small railroads, enabling his former client to apply for $2.5 billion in government financing for its project. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/28/politics/28lobby.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1203195329-hyO5GaBZqRHgIFsyFGhsvw Lobbyist Turns Senator but Twists Same Arms - New York Times ] ]
As a U.S. Senator, Thune also took a leading role in formulating energy policy. He pushed for the final passage of a comprehensive energy bill, which finally overcame a series of Democratic filibusters and passed the Senate in 2005. Thune helped pass another energy bill in late 2007. Thune is a particular advocate of
ethanoland wind energy, which are linked to South Dakota's high levels of cornproduction and its windy prairies. Thune's hometown of Murdo is considered one of the windiest towns in the nation.
Thune, along with South Dakota's senior Senator Tim Johnson, was also faced with the challenge of keeping
Ellsworth Air Force Basein Box Elder, South Dakota(near Rapid City) open after the Department of Defense announced plans to close the base as part of its 2005 round of base closures. The Pentagonannounced that it planned to move all of Ellsworth's B-1 bombers to Dyess Air Force Basein Texas. Ellsworth Air Force Base is one of South Dakota's largest employers, and a critical component of the state's economic well-being, making it necessary for the state's political leaders to fight for its continued existence. Senator Thune, along with Senator Tim Johnson (D), lobbied Washington, specifically the Defense Base Realignment and Closure(BRAC) Commission, to keep Ellsworth open. In their lobbying efforts, they argued that it made little sense to consolidate all of the nation's B-1s in a single location due to the risk of a single attack or tornado taking out the fleet. Also, it was discovered that the Pentagon may have overlooked a lawsuit that possibly prevented B-1 pilots at Dyess from engaging in adequate training. While the fate of Dyess was still in the air, Thune declared that he had strong doubts about issues such as John Bolton's nomination as United Nations ambassador, "I've said all along that I'm going to play whatever cards I have to get the best possible outcome I can for my base," he is reported as saying. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/26/politics/26thune.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Threat to Base Sends Senator on Maneuvers - New York Times ] ] Ultimately, the BRAC Commission voted 8-1 to reverse the Pentagon's recommendation to close Ellsworth. [ align="right" |78,321
* [http://politicalmoneyline.com/cgi-win/x_candpg.exe?DoFn=S2SD00068*2006 Political Money Line — John Thine] campaign contributions
years=1997 – 2003
Bill JanklowU.S. Senator box
SHORT DESCRIPTION=United States Senator from South Dakota
DATE OF BIRTH=January 7, 1961
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Pierre, South Dakota
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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