“Today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court to strike down any real limit on the purchase of our democracy by big money may be the worst decision made by any Supreme Court since the Dred Scott case reaffirmed slavery in 1857,” he wrote in a fundraising missive to supporters.
A screengrab from the Rounds ad, which featured stock photos.
Updated 6:00 p.m. | In a 60-second, introductory Senate campaign ad released last week, former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds touts his state’s economy and quality of life — but it’s unclear if any of the people featured in the Republican’s ad are actually from the Mount Rushmore State.
“We’ve done it right around here, and Washington can learn a lot from the people of South Dakota,” Rounds says in the spot.
At least one was definitely not photographed in South Dakota. The “woman at the meeting” photo was taken at the Getty Images office in Paris, the England-based photographer who shot it confirmed in an email to CQ-Roll Call.
If he runs at all, former Sen. Larry Pressler’s, R-S.D., bid for Senate as an independent won’t look like your traditional campaign.
He said his campaign is running on an “idealistic concept” in a Wednesday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. Pressler, 71, referred to a famous line by William F. Buckley about his third-party bid for New York mayor in 1965.
“If I win, I might demand a recount,” Pressler told CQ Roll Call.
Pressler wasn’t even his own first choice to run, but everyone he’s spoken with about it has declined to step forward. Asked if he would be hiring a campaign manager or consulting team, Pressler said no. Full story
The candidate: Dr. Annette Bosworth, a Republican The member: The open-seat race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson. The state: In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried South Dakota by an 18-point margin. The race is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. The candidate’s team: Nate Johnson of Ainsley Shea for communications; media consultants Buzz Jacobs and Douglas Brown of SSC, political consultant Patrick Davis of Patrick Davis Consulting.
Getting an ad on the air in a competitive Senate race next year may not break the bank, but that won’t change the unruly amount of money that will be spent.
A Senate playing field (view ratings map) constructed almost entirely of small media markets has several implications for the candidates, campaign committees and outside groups in the most targeted states next year. Above all, it likely guarantees an extended campaign season.
“It means the poor, unfortunate people who live in those states will be subjected to much more ugliness,” as Curt Anderson, a Republican media consultant, put it. Full story
The open-seat contest marks one of the Senate GOP’s best pickup opportunities this cycle. Sen. Tim Johnson’s retirement announcement left his party searching for a top candidate to take on the former two-term governor.
Senate Democrats’ inability so far to lure top-tier talent to run for their three most vulnerable open seats shifts the spotlight to recruits in its two most promising pickup opportunities — a relative term in this lopsided landscape.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s decision this weekend to eschew a Senate race came as an unexpected boon for the GOP’s hopes of netting the six seats necessary to win the Senate majority next year. Pulling off that feat would be an accomplishment for Republicans, even if they are waging war in friendly GOP territory.
But there is a realistic scenario that could force Democrats to rely on two first-time federal candidates in states where the party has enjoyed little success in recent years. If Montana moves off the competitive playing field and Republicans are also favored to pick up the open seats in West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP would need to pick up just three more seats from their most promising targets in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina. Full story
Members continued to release impressive fundraising numbers as the final full week to report second-quarter fundraising drew to a close, but the stragglers have not been as impressive as the early birds.
Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a target of state and national conservatives, now officially has a hurdle in his path to the Republican Senate nomination.
Larry Rhoden, the state Senate majority whip, told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that he intends to announce a Senate bid on Wednesday. He’s the first to step forward with a GOP primary challenge to Rounds, whose eight-year tenure in the governor’s office left activists on the right unhappy.
Former Gov. Mike Rounds hired Jason Williams as his statewide coalitions director for his Senate campaign, according to a Tuesday announcement.
Williams has worked on several South Dakota campaigns, including as Rep. Kristi Noem’s coalitions director when she defeated former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, a Democrat, in 2010.
“Jason believes in the importance of personal relationships at the local level,” Rounds said in a release. “Very few individuals understand the effort like he does. We’re grateful to have Jason on board — he’s a tremendous asset.” Full story
Noem announced Tuesday that she won't run for Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Republicans are now on track to avoid a costly, high-profile primary in the South Dakota Senate race next year.
Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., announced Tuesday she will seek re-election rather than take on former Gov. Mike Rounds in the primary for the open seat. Her move clears a major hurdle in the GOP’s path to picking up the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.
“I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me and pledged support for a potential campaign for the U.S. Senate,” Noem said in a statement. “However, after spending the weekend discussing our future with Bryon and our children, we decided that right now we are in the best position to serve South Dakota as a member of the U.S. House.”
Veteran GOP operative Dick Wadhams has signed on as general consultant for the leading candidate in one of the GOP’s top Senate pickup opportunities.
Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds announced on Wednesday that he has retained Wadhams to help lead his campaign.
The election next year will come a decade after Wadhams’ last triumph in the state — managing now-Sen. John Thune’s 2004 upset of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
“Dick’s reputation as a battle tested strategist, coupled with his insight into South Dakota’s political landscape make him the perfect complement to our team,” Rounds said in a statement. “We’ve been considering individuals to fill this role for months and we continued to come back to Mr. Wadhams.” Full story
A GOP poll found that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a slight lead over likely Republican Senate candidates Joe Miller and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. Palin, however, has not indicated that she will run for the seat.
A crowded GOP primary in West Virginia’s 2nd District may be likely. The seat is being vacated by Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who announced last year that she’s running for the state’s open Senate seat following Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s retirement.
David Schwarz, a former staffer for Republican Rep. Jack Kingston, is running for his former boss’ seat in Georgia’s 1st District. Kingston left the seat open when he announced he was running for the Peach State’s open Senate seat.
What we’re mulling on Monday …
Two newpolls out in New Hampshire found Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has a double-digit lead in a hypothetical match-up with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.
North Carolina state Sen. Malcolm Graham became the first candidate to announce he will run for Rep. Mel Watt’s seat. Watt was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, although he has yet to be confirmed and has yet to resign his seat. If confirmed, Watt’s House departure would likely create a crowded special election.
Senate Democrats’ primary problem in South Dakota is turning into a recruitment one.
Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin announced Monday morning that she will not seek South Dakota’s open Senate seat — taking the party’s top recruit in the state out of the running to hold the seat of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson.
Her decision came just a few days after it became apparent that U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, the senator’s son and Herseth Sandlin’s top possible primary contender, did not intend to run. Democrat Rick Weiland, a former aide to ex-Sen. Tom Daschle, entered the race on Wednesday. He and Johnson’s top supporter both said that Johnson would not run. Full story
Herseth Sandlin might run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Democrat Rick Weiland’s recent announcement to run for Senate leaves one massive question in the South Dakota race: Will former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., run too?
With Weiland in, the potential for a high-profile primary between Herseth Sandlin and the son of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson appears to be over. Weiland and Ryan Casey, the head of the Draft Brendan Johnson for Senate movement, both told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that they no longer believe Johnson, a U.S. attorney in South Dakota, is interested in seeking his father’s seat.
But Johnson supporters are already being encouraged to back Weiland, which means the potential for a competitive primary remains.