Roll Call: While Johnson Raises Money, the field starts to form
While Senator Tim Johnson recuperates and raises money, the GOP Field for this fall is starting to flesh out. Roll Call has a big (and judging by my e-mail box), and popular story today on who's who and what they're running for:
Rounds, who was just re-elected in November, is a prime example of how Johnson has forced Republicans to put their political plans on hold. Sources said the governor is not inclined to run for Senate but is particularly less likely to do so if Johnson stands for re-election.Read it all here at rollcall.com. Lots of maybes at the moment (Dykstra, Russell, Knudson), and 1 yes (Sam Kephart). Actually looks like we might have a race next fall, huh?
State Rep. Joel Dykstra’s (R) situation is similar. He recently attended the candidate-training school for prospective House candidates that the National Republican Congressional Committee held in Washington, D.C. But Dykstra said in an interview that he is more interested in running for Senate, although he is waiting to see which Democrat he would be running against before deciding on whether to run at all — and for which seat.
“I’m exploring my options for 2008, and in particular should I run for House or Senate,” Dykstra said.
Former Thune campaign aide Larry Russell is another Republican talked up as a potentially formidable House candidate who is waiting for the Democratic playing field to solidify before making a decision.
Russell finished a close second to then-state Sen. Larry Diedrich (R) in the South Dakota GOP’s 2004 convention to select a nominee to run in a special election to replace former Rep. Bill Janklow (R), who resigned in 2003 after being convicted of vehicular manslaughter.
“If Johnson is unable to run and Herseth Sandlin decides to run for Senate and there becomes an open House seat, I suppose I would probably take a look at it,” Russell said. “I’m getting a lot of encouragement from around the state.”
In addition to Rounds, potential top-tier GOP Senate candidates include Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard; Kelby Krabbenhoft, a possible self-funder who is president and CEO of Sioux Valley Hospitals & Health System; and state Senate Majority Leader Dave Knudson. In an interview, Knudson said he also is exploring a gubernatorial run in 2010.
“To some extent you could run for both [Senator and governor], depending on the outcome of the first race,” Knudson said. “I probably fall into the ‘thinking about it’ category in terms of the Senate race.”
Though Democrats and Republicans who follow South Dakota politics are nearly unanimous in their belief that Herseth Sandlin will run for Senate if Johnson retires, her office declined to discuss the possibility. A spokesman for the Congresswoman would say only that she expects Johnson to run for re-election and looks forward to supporting him.