That was timely. Newquist, and Kneebone withdraw from race.
A call to the Secretary of State's office confirmed it. As of today, both he and Ted Kneebone are out.
It would seem that his rant where he says "South Dakota Politics and South Dakota War College are symptoms of the degradation of American politics" coincided with him putting the letter of withdrawl in the mail.
What's left to be said on this, aside from the points I was making before? Nothing really. My position that he said some things that could be controversial in a political race stands. I just did a little opposition research and discovered several quotes that aren't going to do him any favors in a political race.
Coincidentally, an AP story I read today seemed to only uphold my opinion as correct:
Republican Rep. Anne Northup of Kentucky was caught in an uncomfortably close race a few campaigns back, until she plucked the fruits of months-old research that her campaign had compiled into her opponent's record."Votes, quotes and anecdotes," And that's coming from one of the people on his side of the aisle that do the same thing I do. Except he'd probably congratulate them, while he says that I engage in "the politics of the lower order creatures clawing and pecking their way to a higher status within the dog pack or the chicken flock."
The resulting commercial showed Eleanor Jordan in an unflattering moment, standing on the floor of the Kentucky Legislature urging fellow lawmakers to wrap up their work. "I have a fundraiser at 6 o'clock and I want to get out of here," Jordan said with an impatient glance at her wristwatch.
Jordan "lost her momentum after that," Northup recalled recently - neither the first nor the last candidate to benefit from a political subspecialty known as opposition research.
"Votes, quotes and anecdotes," Michael Gehrke, a veteran Democratic researcher, called his area of expertise. "At the end of the day, all you're really finding is nuggets."
To some, opposition research is a tedious but important part of politics. To others, it's a black art. By any description, the art of combing a politician's past for fact or flaw has taken on a wider role in recent years.
What's in store for David? Who knows? I thought he was engaging and fierce in his debates on the issues, so it's with some regret that I see he's backed out. Although, with Ted Kneebone withdrawing from the race, he could very well be setting himself up for a Senate run instead. It wouldn't be a shock.
In fact, it might even be expected, as Bob Mercer commented in his column this week that Democrats likely didn't see Kneebone as a winning candidate since they were trying to recruit Sutton* to run.
But with a history of quotes and anecdotes as long as David Newquist's are, somehow I don't know if he could be any stronger. Depending on what the next two weeks bring, we'll see if there are going to be two new challengers, or two more seats the GOP is guaranteed to pick up.
*Just as an aside, one of my readers with an inside track into the situation informed me that the Duane Sutton recruitment effort was initiated by the Dems, who were on the phone the next day trying to get him to run. They were quite insistent that Duane was NOT the one doing the approaching.
Given the respect I have for this source, I'll take him at his word, and hope you will too.