SD’s Thune becomes Senate’s majority whip

WASHINGTON (AP) – South Dakota’s Senator John Thune moves up to the GOP’s No. 2 spot in the Senate.

Thune becomes the majority whip as Sen. John Cornyn of Texas was forced out by term limits. Each party’s whip is the enforcer, ensuring discipline and that members show up for votes in line with party policy.

Thune ran unopposed for the position and will move up from his current position as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, which oversees message coordination for the caucus.

Also moving up in leadership is Wyoming Senator John Barrasso who becomes the third-ranking Republican member, taking over Thune's current position.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been elected to another term as GOP leader. He won a new term by acclimation Wednesday.

Republicans are poised to elect their first woman to leadership in almost a decade. Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer is running for vice chair of the conference. She faces GOP Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.

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