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Thune Pledges Support For Republican Presidential Nominee

Kealey Bultena
US Senator John Thune speaks to government students at New Technology High School in Sioux Falls. / March 30, 2016

South Dakota’s senior US Senator says he supports the Republican nominee for president – regardless of which man wins the race. Senator John Thune notes the election process is far from over. He explained his position on the 2016 election to a group of teenagers.

At New Technology high school in Sioux Falls, government students pepper Thune with questions about foreign policy, terrorism, regulation, and politics. That includes this one about the campaign for president of the United States: is there any candidate that you necessarily support or endorse in this current election?

"No, I’m just kind of like a lot of people. I’m just watching the process play out, see what happens when we get to the party conventions this summer, see what the voters in South Dakota decide. You know, we’re going to vote in June – early June. But I just haven’t weighed into this one," Thune says. "It’s just probably the strangest, most unpredictable national election that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime."

The current three-man race is among Donald Trump, US Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Thune says he plans to support whichever candidate wins the Republican nomination.

"There were some other candidates when the field was a little bigger that I thought were really strong candidates, but the process narrows that, and that’s part of our democracy," Thune says. "So what I said is we’ll wait until the convention, see what that process yields in terms of a nominee, but my intention is to support our nominee, yes."

Thune says he doesn’t agree with the tactics all candidates are using, but he says differences in the Republican primary are raising issues that matter to the American people.

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB
US Senator John Thune in Sioux Falls / March 30, 2016

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).