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U.S. Senator John Thune in Jacksonville

225px-john_thune_official_photoSouth Dakotka Senator John Thune is in Jacksonville this afternoon, the Jacksonville Observer has learned.

Chairman of the Local Duval County Republican Party, Lenny Curry, posted on his Twitter account shortly after 3pm: "Meeting with US Senator John Thune @ my office"

Thune's visit does not appear to include any public events.   The purpose of Thune's meeting with Curry is as yet unknown.

In 1996, Thune was elected to South Dakota's lone seat in the United States House of Representatives.  He twice won reelection, in 1998 and in 2000.  However,  Thune supported term limits and promised to serve no more than three terms in the House.  Keeping his pledge, he ran for the United States Senate against Tim Johnson in 2002, losing by only 524 votes.

In November of 2004, Thune defeated then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle by a narrow margin.  This was the first time a sitting Senate Majority Leader had been voted out of office in more than 50 years.

He will face re-election to the Senate next year, however no credible Democrat has yet stepped forward to challenge him.

Many Republicans have since discussed Thune as a strong candidate for National office.   He was suggested as a possible running mate for John McCain in 2008 and is considered by many as a potential 2012 Presidential candidate.

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