2012 Republican sweepstakes: Thune out, waiting for Huntsman

February 22, 2011

The Republican field for the 2012 presidential race has not yet crystallized, but it will start taking shape over the next few months with every announcement from a (real or rumored) potential presidential hopeful.

One to cross off the list — Republican Senator John Thune said he won’t be running.  He posted the announcement on his Facebook page, saying he plans to continue representing South Dakota in the Senate.

USA-POLITICS/REPUBLICANS“There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now,” Thune said. “So at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.”

Thune became the second conservative Republican in Congress to decide against seeking the party’s nomination, following Representative Mike Pence of Indiana.

There is expected to be no shortage of Republican candidates vying to go up against Democrat Barack Obama in the contest for the White House.

Republican Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to China will step down from diplomatic duty at the end of April. He has not announced a decision about any political intentions, but what is essentially his campaign-in-waiting just launched a fundraising effort.

A political action committee called Horizon PAC, which is officially unconnected to Huntsman, launched a new website with a giant red H to seek donations. “Maybe someday we’ll find a new generation of conservative leaders,” it says.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Thune at Conservative Political Action conference on Feb. 11).

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