Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2014

Posts in "S.D. Senate"

July 24, 2014

Quirky Ex-Senator Stomps on Democrats’ S.D. Hopes

Quirky Ex Senator Stomps on Democrats S.D. Hopes

Johnson is retiring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

South Dakota Democrats are playing a tough hand in the Senate race, but they thought they could count on a wild card — former Sen. Larry Pressler — to help the contest break their way.

Pressler seems to have other plans.

Democrats already faced long odds to hold retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson’s seat. Obama lost South Dakota by 18 points last cycle, and the state marks the GOP’s best pick-up opportunity in its 6-seat quest to win the majority.

The front-runner, popular former GOP Gov. Mike Rounds, faces several foes: Democrat Rick Weiland; state Sen. Gordon Howie, a conservative Republican running as an independent; and Pressler, who served three terms as a Republican but is running as an independent.

Democrats held out hope the race would become competitive if Pressler splintered GOP votes from Rounds. But so far, Pressler is doing the opposite — splitting Democrats and extinguishing the party’s remaining hopes of keeping the seat.

“He seems to be veering to the left,” said Ben Nesselhuf, former South Dakota Democratic Party chairman, in an interview with Roll Call. “I like this Larry Pressler a lot more than I liked the one in the mid 1990s. … His message and Rick Weiland’s message seem to kind of overlap.”

Full story

June 3, 2014

Primary Results: Montana, South Dakota Races (Updated)

Primary Results: Montana, South Dakota Races (Updated)

Johnson will not seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Gov. Mike Rounds won the Republican nomination for Senate in South Dakota Tuesday.

Rounds, a popular former governor, is expected to all-but coast to the Senate seat in November. The seat is open because Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., is retiring at the end of this year.

In the primary, Rounds bested state Sens. Stace Nelson and Larry Rhoden, Army Reserves Maj. Jason Ravnsborg, and Dr. Annette Bosworth. When The Associated Press called the race around 9:35 EST, Rounds led with 58 percent of the vote. Full story

June 1, 2014

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

McDaniel is challenging Cochran in the June primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a relatively unsurprising series of primaries this month, June brings another collection of intraparty contests. More than half of the states will have selected their nominees by the end of the month.

Republicans will pick nominees in key Senate races in Mississippi, Iowa and South Dakota. Down the ballot, House primaries in several open seats will likely determine the future members of Congress from both parties.

Here is Roll Call’s comprehensive look at watch to watch in June. Bookmark this page, and check out our primary map for results from past primaries.

June 3
With primaries in eight states, this date marks the busiest night of the cycle.

Alabama: In the 6th District, seven Republicans are running in an open-seat race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. This district is located in and around Birmingham. State Rep. Paul DeMarco is the front-runner, followed by Club for Growth-backed surgeon Chad Mathis and businessman Will Brooke. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will continue to a July 15 runoff. Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)

California: In this House race battleground, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Republicans will also pick a gubernatorial nominee who could have an impact down the ballot in November. Polls close at 11 p.m. EST. Here are the primaries to watch in the Golden State:

Full story

April 2, 2014

Democratic Senate Candidate: McCutcheon ‘Worst Ruling Since Dred Scott’

Former Capitol Hill staffer Rick Weiland is running for Senate in South Dakota, and he was among the Democrats upset with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on campaign finance.

The Supreme Court struck down aggregate contribution limits in a Wednesday ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

“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.

Really? Full story

March 30, 2014

The 7 Stock Photos in Mike Rounds’ South Dakota Ad — Including One From Paris

The 7 Stock Photos in Mike Rounds South Dakota Ad — Including One From Paris

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.

But each of the photos in the ad are available for purchase on stock photo sites like Getty and Shutterstock. That includes, in order of appearance, the roofer, the father and son fishing, the three people at the meeting, the playful family, the guy checking the boxes, the woman at the meeting, and the father and son washing their car.

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.

Full story

November 14, 2013

Ex-S.D. Senator: Comeback Bid Based on ‘Idealistic Concept’

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

October 8, 2013

GOP Senate Candidate: NRSC ‘Worried’ About Me (Video)

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.

Full story

September 11, 2013

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

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

September 10, 2013

GOP Poll: Rounds Holds Large Lead in Senate Contest | #SDSEN

Former Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, has a large lead over likely Democratic challenger Rick Weiland in South Dakota’s open Senate contest, according to an automated GOP poll released on Monday.

Rounds leads Weiland, a former aide to former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., 58 percent to 38 percent, with 10 percent of respondents undecided, according to the survey from Harper Polling.

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.

Full story

July 15, 2013

The Senate Majority Fight in Post-Schweitzer World

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

July 13, 2013

Fundraising Roundup: Smaller Sums Trickle In as Filing Deadline Approaches

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.

Both House and Senate candidates have raised the bar as to what constitutes an eye-catching quarterly fundraising total, but history dictates that members who release their reports toward the end of the filing deadline usually have lower hauls to report. That rung true for some reported totals.

Check out Friday’s fundraising numbers:

Full story

July 9, 2013

Rounds Gets Conservative Challenger #SDSEN

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.

Rhoden told CQ Roll Call in March that he was considering running, though conservatives at that time were still awaiting word from GOP Rep. Kristi Noem. She has since declined to run, leaving activists still in search of an alternative. Full story

June 18, 2013

Rounds Hires More Staff for Senate Bid #SDSEN | Shop Talk

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

June 11, 2013

Kristi Noem Not Running for Senate #SDSEN

Kristi Noem Not Running for Senate #SDSEN

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.”

(See also in Roll Call: Search For Anti-Rounds Candidate Continues In South Dakota) Full story

May 22, 2013

Mike Rounds Hires Dick Wadhams #SDSEN | Shop Talk

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

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...