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John Thune was born in Pierre, but his family moved to Murdo. From a young age, Thune believed agriculture was extremely important for South Dakota
His interest in politics was sparked during a high school basketball game when he was greeted by U.S. Representative Jim Abdnor
He attended Biola University for undergrad, but returned to receive his Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota
John’s attraction to public service took him to Washington, D.C. to work for that sports enthusiast and then-U.S. Senator Jim Abdnor. He then served at the Small Business Administration under an appointment from President Ronald Reagan.
In 1989, John and his family returned to South Dakota, where he served as the Executive Director of the South Dakota Republican Party. In 1991, Governor George S. Mickelson appointed him the State Railroad Director, a position he held until 1993, when he became Executive Director of the South Dakota Municipal League.
After a narrow loss in a U.S. Senate race in 2002, he won his current U.S. Senate seat in 2004, when he made history by defeating a sitting U.S. Senate party leader for the first time in 52 years.
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