(CNN) -- Here's an in-depth look at the life of John Thune, Republican Senator from South Dakota.
Personal: Birth date: January 7, 1961
Birth place: Pierre, South Dakota
Birth name: John Randolph Thune
Father: Harold Thune, school teacher
Mother: Yvonne 'Pat' (Bodine) Thune, librarian
Marriage: Kimberley (Weems) Thune (1984-present)
Children: Larissa, January 1990; Brittany, April 1987
Education: Biola University, B.S. in Business Administration, 1983; University of South Dakota, M.B.A., 1984
Timeline 1985-1987 - Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator James Abdnor (R-South Dakota).
1987-1989 - Special Assistant for the U.S. Small Business Administration.
1989-1991 - Returns to South Dakota and serves as Executive Director for the South Dakota Republican Party.
1991-1993 - Appointed South Dakota state railroad director by Governor George S. Mickelson (R-South Dakota).
1993-1996 - Becomes Executive Director of South Dakota Municipal League.
1996 - Elected to U.S. House of Representatives.
1997-2003 - Serves three terms in U.S. House of Representatives for South Dakota.
2002 - Runs for Senate against incumbent Democrat Tim Johnson but loses narrowly.
2003-2004 - Works as lobbyist and consultant in Washington, D.C.
January 2004 - Announces he will challenge Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) in the upcoming Senate race.
November 2004 - Wins Senate seat for South Dakota, defeating Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota).
January 5, 2005 -- Starts his term as U.S. Senator for South Dakota
June 2009-January 2012 - Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman.
November 2010 - Runs unopposed and wins re-election to the Senate.
February 22, 2011 - Announces that he will not seek the Republican presidential nomination for 2012.
December 13, 2011 - Elected Senate Republican Conference chairman and assumes the position on January 26, 2012.
January 1, 2013 - Votes in favor of the bill to avert the fiscal cliff.