South Dakota U.S. Sen. John Thune has climbed to the second-highest rung on the Senate Republican leadership ladder with a promotion to majority whip.
Thune had served in the No. 3 leadership post as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference since 2012.
Thune ran unopposed for the position and was elected by his Senate colleagues.
Whips are responsible for counting heads and rounding up party members for votes and quorum calls, and they occasionally stand in for the majority or minority leaders in their absence.
The majority whip ranks behind only the majority leader among the leadership positions to which senators are elected by their colleagues.