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Republican Sen. John Thune Declared Winner of South Dakota Primary

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Republicans aiming to retake control of the U.S. Senate in November’s crucial midterm elections took an important step towards that goal on Tuesday night.

Republicans secured a big victory after Sen. John Thune won the South Dakota Republican Senate primary.

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Thune, who may be next in line to succeed Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate, was reportedly considering retirement but announced his re-election bid announcement in January.

“I’m a right-of-center conservative. I think the country is there. They don’t always vote that way, but I think the country still looks for right-of-center conservative solutions to problems,” Thune said.

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Last week, Thune, South Dakota GOP Sen. Mike Rounds, and 46 other Republicans sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledging to block any bill that would undermine pro-life protections, including the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

β€œWe write to express our unwavering support for the Hyde Amendment and all other longstanding pro-life protections,” the senators wrote. β€œFor more than 45 years, the Hyde Amendment has ensured that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, saving the lives of nearly 2.5 million preborn children. As you know, the Hyde Amendment is supported by both a substantial majority of the American public and a bipartisan majority of sitting United States Senators, and was most recently signed into law by President Biden in Public Law 117-103.”

β€œOn February 5, 2021, we wrote to you that β€˜[w]e are committed to vote against the advancement of any legislation that would eliminate or weaken the Hyde Amendment or any other current-law pro-life protections, or otherwise undermine existing Federal pro-life policy,’” the senators continued. β€œWe firmly renew this commitment for FY 2023.”

β€œWe urge you to start where we finished by making a baseline commitment to maintain the same pro-life protections that were included in Public Law 117-103, and to eschew any taxpayer-funded giveaways that benefit the multi-billion-dollar abortion industry,” the senators concluded.

The letter was led by U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), and it was also signed by U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

The letter is endorsed by Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, March for Life, Catholic Vote, National Right to Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Americans United for Life, Concerned Women for America, and Alliance Defending Freedom.

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