The Washington Times - February 22, 2011, 12:15PM

Sen. John Thune said Tuesday he will not seek the Republican presidential nomination this year, making it likely no sitting senator will be part of the GOP’s fray.

Mr. Thune, who hails from South Dakota, announced in a Facebook post and on his campaign website that he will focus on his time in the Senate.

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“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,” he wrote.

With Sen. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber, announcing he will retire at the end of this term, Mr. Thune may spot an opening to move up the ranks within the Senate — which could be particularly attractive if the GOP captures control in the 2012 elections.