SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Sen. John Thune has announced his intention to seek re-election to the third-highest ranking Republican position in the U.S. Senate.

Thune said Thursday that he intends to be re-elected as the Senate Republic Conference Chairman. He has held the position since January of this year.

In a news release, Thune said the country is a crossroads and communicating the Republican vision to grow the economy, create jobs and restore the nation's fiscal health is important.

Thune is the highest ranking Republican senator from South Dakota since Sen. Chan Gurney of Yankton, who served as conference vice-chair, the No. 5 position, in the 1940s.

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