Thune Emerges as Early Favorite to Succeed McConnell as Senate Whip

Shortly after Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced his resignation as Senate Republican Leader, speculation quickly turned to John Thune, South Dakota senator and McConnell’s deputy as GOP Whip, as a potential successor.

Thune, who is expected to announce his candidacy for Senate Republican leadership, is well-regarded by his Senate GOP colleagues and has an average rating of 83.52% by the American Conservative Union. Known for his presence on Sunday talk shows, Thune is considered telegenic and popular among Republicans.

Sources within the Senate told Newsmax that Thune does not have the same contentious relationship with former President Trump as McConnell did. The two clashed on various issues, while Thune has shown support for Trump, earning a strong endorsement after Trump’s victory in the South Carolina primary.

Thune may face competition for the leadership role, with Senators John Barrasso (Wyo.) and John Cornyn (Tex.) also considered contenders. Both Barrasso and Cornyn bring unique qualifications to the race, with Barrasso chairing the Senate Republican Conference and Cornyn having experience as past chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Senator Rick Scott of Florida, who challenged McConnell for leadership previously, is also mentioned as a potential candidate. However, it remains uncertain if there is still lingering resentment among colleagues toward Scott for his previous challenge.

Many believe Thune is the frontrunner for the position, given his age, telegenic appeal, and absence of conflicts with Trump. While newer faces like Tom Cotton of Arkansas or JD Vance of Ohio are considered, the expectation is that the new Senate Republican Leader will likely come from within the current GOP Conference.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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