Whalen opens Rapid City Office, and never says die.

The Rapid City Weekly news has a story on Bruce Whalen's Rapid City office opening, and Bruce gives us a preview of how the last two months of the campaign are going to be fought:
Whalen said he expects to win congressional seat
Republican challenger opens campaign HQ, asks Herseth to debate
By Tom Lawrence
September 14, 2006

Republican Congressional candidate Bruce Whalen is running his first statewide race. Whalen is struggling to compete in polls, raise money and gain name recognition.

Sound challenging? He said he’s enjoying every minute of the race and still expecting to win.

“We wouldn’t be in this if we didn’t think we’d win,” Whalen said after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at his campaign headquarters in Rapid City.

He’s running against Rep. Stephanie Herseth, who took office after a special election in June 2004 and was elected to a full two-year term in November 2004. The Democrat from Brookings is the odds-on favorite and has a family name that resonates with many South Dakota voters who recall her grandfather the governor, her grandmother the secretary of state, and her father, the longtime state legislator and gubernatorial candidate.

Whalen said he knows he’s running uphill, but feels his campaign message of conservative, family-oriented views makes him a legitimate contender.

He said his campaign contributions are up, his name recognition has increased and people are coming to parades and events to meet him. “It’s really moving along pretty good,” Whalen said. “I feel like it’s a great privilege and I’m happy to be the representative of the South Dakota Republican Party.”

He said he wants to bring attention to impoverished areas on South Dakota reservations and try to bring business owners and investors together with community leaders and residents who want jobs. “People want to work,” Whalen said.

He said he is a pro-life, pro-family candidate whose views are more in line with most voters than Herseth’s are and that once he gets that message across, his campaign will be invigorated.

Whalen played a radio spot he is now running and said he hopes to have TV advertising up in October.

He continues to hammer on Herseth for refusing to debate with him as often as he wants to. Whalen said he has challenged her to one-one-one appearances and she has ducked him. Herseth declined a debate challenge at DakotaFest and didn’t show up at the State Fair to debate him, he said.

Whalen said he also challenged her to a debate at an event on the Pine Ridge Reservation and she declined. “She couldn’t get out of there fast enough,” he said. “I feel the citizens of South Dakota have been robbed by her of the opportunity to hear us on the same platform.”

He said he was “disgusted” that Herseth was ducking debates with him while criticizing the Republican leadership in Congress for limiting debates on the floor.


Whalen said some Lakota elders recently dubbed him “Buffalo Dreamer” and he was thrilled by the honor. But he said he’s not dreaming when he talks about defeating Herseth and going to Washington, D.C., next year.
Read it all here.

I have to give it to Bruce, he's digging in and preparing for a tough fight. Yes, he may be down in the polls, but so was Mike Rounds two months before the 2002 June Primary. A lot can change in 60 days, expecially if he can find a few issues he can gain traction on.

I think the debate criticism is a valid one for him to use. If I were in Herseth's shoes, admittedly, I'd avoid open, free flowing forum debates with audience questions as well. But the criticism Bruce is countering with does put her on the defensive. If Bruce can key in on a couple of more good issues and start hammering, he might be able to make a dent in her strong popularity.

The November election is still some time off. And that's a lot of time to see what else he can make stick.


Anonymous said…
Delusional: a false belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that persists despite the facts and is common in some psychotic states.
Anonymous said…
"He said he is a pro-life, pro-family candidate..."

Where is his eldest son in this race and his materials. Saw him at the dedication w/his two little ones, makes a good photo but don't beat up your opposition on rumor and innuendo if you've got something in your closet too. Or maybe there is nothing in the closet, don't know. Just curious.

Great on anon 2:02. Reminds me of Ron Schmidt's speach after the returns came in. Angry in defeat as he'd deluded himself into thinking he could win because he too was, "a pro-life, pro-family candidate whose views are more in line with most voters..."
Nicholas Nemec said…
Sounds like Wille Nelson was sharing those mushrooms with some other people.
Anonymous said…
Anon 2:56
You must be from a different planet.
Divorces happen to good people--custody battles are sometimes terrible. It is painful and difficult--Get over it and get off of it. We are sick of you asking the same stupid-- from another planet-- question over and over.
Joan said…
Anon 11:52 - Other people go through divorce and custody battles too, but they still publicly acknowledge their other children. To not do that implies the person has something to hide.
Anonymous said…
Yes Joan, and to hold yourself out as some divining rod of virtue versus the evil single women should keep make this issue legitimate. Cheney never gay bashed because he has and loves his gay daughter, nothing wrong w/that.
Listen often, Speak seldom said…
Every single time that I have heard Bruce Whalen speak about his family he mentions his 20 year old son from a previous marriage.

Joan or anon 2:56 have you even given him the courtesy of a "listen" before you begin bashing? Or are you just so Dem that you bash away no matter what??

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