For Republicans, there should be only one question on our minds right now.
Who is running against Herseth?
I don't think any statewide candidate, really - should go uncontested for re-election.I agree completely. And that brings up a tough, painful question that Republicans need to ask. Who is running against Stephanie Herseth? And they need to keep asking it, increasing the volume every time.
Because it's not like people haven't been asking it. The media has been asking for quite some time.
Barring the latest speculation from Dave Kranz who says Tim Amdahl might jump into the race, (which has yet to be confirmed) we've only been hearing one thing. One phrase that's been only slightly modified and then repeated. And again stated and repeated. Just like a shampoo label it is "use, rinse, repeat."
But aren't you as a reader sensing a pattern here as well? Supposedly there's a list of names. Nobody knows who the names are, but there's about three or four good possibilities on the list. A year ago we were supposed to have several committes looking at it by last fall. And all that's come out of it is whistling in the wind.
Republican challengers might surface by summer or fall. "Some people like to come out early," Frederick said. "Some like to stay in the weeds as long as possible. I think there are many people already considering a run for U.S. Congress." (Argus Leader/South Dakota politics 12/23/04)Frederick was humored by a report in Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., publication, saying state Republicans were waving a white flag in an effort to find a challenger to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth's re-election bid. "Come this fall, you will see some exploratory committees for House beginning, and you will probably see some of those names we have talked about for governor on that list," he said. (Argus Leader 4/12/05)
That might be changing, though. Randy Frederick, state Republican Party chairman, says two or three serious contenders could emerge in the near future. "When the ball goes up, I assume we will have a pretty good person to go up against her," he said. (Argus 6/9/05)
Randy Frederick, state GOP chairman, says he continues the recruitment process with some people in mind. "It wouldn't be fair to divulge names of individuals I sent letters to, but I am breaking the ice with some people," he said. (Argus 10/30/05)
State GOP chairman Randy Frederick told the crowd in Rapid City that he is frequently asked who is going to challenge Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., in next year’s election. "We have a lot of possibilities," he said. He didn't name names, though. (Rapid City Journal 11/22/05)
The Republican Party is courting three or four potential challengers to U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth, the state GOP chairman said Monday. Randy Frederick of Hayti wouldn't name the potential candidates, though. (AP 1/3/06)
State GOP Chairman Randy Frederick says business and family issues are keeping some Republicans from challenging Herseth. He says three or four people are thinking about a run, though it will likely be some time before someone announces. (KELO & AP 1/3/06)
It's not for lack of names. Republicans always have a strong bench..... One promise from Republicans: They won't let the race go uncontested. (Argus 1/22/06)
I'm getting that uncomfortable feeling in my stomach like we're being fed a line. The scatological term "bullsh*t" is starting to creep in to my vernacular when I hear we might have a candidate. And as of now, you can officially consider me a doubting thomas.
Think I'm the only one noticing this? Others also have picked up on "the name game." Check this post out from the "Proud Liberal Journal" entitled "Does anyone want to run against Herseth?"
State GOP Chairman Randy Frederick says he has three or four people all lined up to take on Herseth this fall. Names? Oh there will be no names. Just rest assured that there will be a candidate of some sort fielded by the Republicans. Maybe Alan Keyes is available. (1/6/06)Take a gander at these comments from Joel Rosenthal, Randy Frederick's predecessor as chairman of the South Dakota GOP:
(From Where Is Our Candidate) To conduct and sustain a serious campaign, a candidate should come forward now to organize their campaign. There is time to travel South Dakota and become known. The candidate can achieve name identification on parity with the incumbent. The Republican candidate, if diligent and with help of party leaders can raise perhaps 600,000 dollars here in South Dakota. If the candidate can demonstrate the race will be competitive, the national money will come in for perhaps that much or more. (August 2nd, 2005)I even did a little scouting around among legislators. And let me tell you, if one of them is even thinking about running for the bathroom, it gets back to me. So I queried if any of the legislators being asked lately about running against Herseth? And the answer I got was "Nope, haven't heard a thing."
(From Where is Our Candidate? II) Do Republicans in South Dakota have hope of retaking the congressional seat from the South Dakota Princess? Five months ago I asked where is our candidate? Republicans still don’t have one and we now have just a little over three months until nominating petitions have to be filed (the first Tuesday in April.) Many prospects have been named and each seems to have come and gone. Nowhere do we see a candidate. (December 26th, 2005)
I have to say it does not instill a lot of party pride when we're getting jabbed about this. It's even worse when it's well deserved. At this moment we have nothing. Nothing. And it gets worse. How can it get any worse? Because I think we could make South Dakota History if we let this go.
Republicans have not let a congressional seat in South Dakota go without a Republican at least challenging for the office in decades. I can go back to at least 1986 just off the top of my head. No non-gop congressional race there. I even researched a little farther back on-line. No non-gop congressional race back through 1972.
Maybe one of our historians out there can help me, but I suspect that Republicans have never let a congressional seat go in all of South Dakota's proud history. I'd like to know if we've ever given anyone "a bye" for Congress. Because if we did, I'd like to know how the GOP handled the shame of it. As a party, it looks as if we have consigned ourselves to abandon one of the highest offices in the state.
For my Republican readers and leaders out there, I can only leave you with one suggestion. Contact your Republican County Chairman, and encourage them to attend the South Dakota Republican Party Central Committee Meeting on February 18th to voice their displeasure at the possibility of giving Stephanie a walk on the race. Here's the information on that meeting:
Ask them to go to the meeting and to demand that we have a candidate for the fall Congressional race. Demand it. Because unless we do that, the only thing we'll hear at the meeting is "We won't let the race go uncontested. We've got about three or four good prospects, but we can't tell you their names."February 18
State Central Committee Meeting
10 a.m., Kings Inn, Pierre, SD
In closing, I just have to apologize. Sorry if this is all a little harsh. But, it's time to stop saying we have three or four names and to start telling us who they are. Because the countdown clock continues to click down.
And we don't need all of the names. One of them will do just fine.