Post-election shifts in the Senate may promote both of South Dakota's senators in their party ranks.

Sen. John Thune is running for Senate Republican Conference vice chairman, the No. 5 spot in GOP Senate leadership.

Spokesman Kyle Downey says Thune has been talking with his colleagues to gauge their support and has been encouraged by what he's hearing.

The state's senior senator, Democrat Tim Johnson, could assume the Senate Banking Committee chairmanship if that panel's chairman, Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd, assumes the leadership of another committee.

Dodd is in line to take the helm of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee with the resignation of current chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., who will become vice president in January.