Skip to Content

John Thune Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of John Thune, Republican senator and Senate minority whip from South Dakota.


Birth date: January 7, 1961

Birth place: Pierre, South Dakota

Birth name: John Randolph Thune

Father: Harold Thune, schoolteacher

Mother: Yvonne “Pat” (Bodine) Thune, librarian

Marriage: Kimberley (Weems) Thune (1984-present)

Children: Larissa and Brittany

Education: Biola University, B.S. in Business Administration, 1983; University of South Dakota, M.B.A., 1984

Religion: Protestant


1985-1987 – Legislative assistant for US Senator James Abdnor (R-South Dakota).

1987-1989 Special assistant for the US Small Business Administration.

1989-1991 Returns to South Dakota and serves as executive director for the South Dakota Republican Party.

1991-1993 Appointed South Dakota state railroad director by South Dakota Governor George S. Mickelson.

1993-1996 Executive Director of South Dakota Municipal League.

1996 Elected to the US House of Representatives.

1997-2003 Serves three terms in the US House of Representatives for South Dakota.

2002 – Runs for Senate against incumbent Democrat Tim Johnson, but loses narrowly.

2003-2004 Works as lobbyist and consultant in Washington, DC.

January 2004 Announces he will challenge Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) in the upcoming Senate race.

November 2004 Wins Senate seat for South Dakota, defeating Daschle.

January 5, 2005 – Starts his term as US Senator for South Dakota.

June 2009-January 2012 Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman.

November 2010 Runs unopposed and wins reelection to the Senate.

February 22, 2011 Announces that he will not seek the Republican presidential nomination for 2012.

December 13, 2011 Elected Senate Republican Conference chairman and assumes the position on January 26, 2012.

November 13, 2014 Reelected chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

November 8, 2016 – Wins reelection to the US Senate.

November 14, 2018 – Elected Senate Republican Whip.

November 8, 2022 – Wins reelection to the US Senate.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content