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Thune Defeats Williams For Senate Seat

South Dakotans have re-elected United States Senator John Thune over Democratic challenger Jay Williams. He acknowledges that the nation is fractured. Thune says he’s making a commitment to all of his constituents.

"We’re not always going to agree. There are gonna be times we’re gonna have differences of opinion on issues. There are a lot of wide range of political views across South Dakota. As most people know, I’m a right-of-center conservative," says Thune. "But I can tell you one thing: I will always listen. And my office is always open and available for business to serve the needs and the concerns of every South Dakotan, no matter you’re your politics are."

Thune says he’s focused on spurring economic growth to benefit South Dakota and the rest of the country.

Democrat Jay Williams used his concession speech to explain his priorities to the man who bested him. Williams says he called Thune to admit defeat and congratulate the incumbent on his win.

"And I reminded that I am now one of his constituents and, as one of his constituents, I hope that he will work to bring our country together," says Williams. "I mean, we’re so divided. There’s so much hate. And, you know, Senator Thune, as a leader in the Senate now and a third-term Senator, he’s gonna have quite a lot of power there, and he can step up and bring the Republican party back."

Williams says climate change is one specific topic that deserves attention from Thune and the rest of Congress.

Hear Williams' speech to South Dakota Democrats at this link. 
Listen to Thune's acceptance speech to South Dakota Republicans here. 

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).
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