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.
Dr. Annette Bosworth is a political newcomer who, for now, is a long-shot to win South Dakota’s GOP Senate primary.
“If you look at all the upsets that have been done in the last two cycles, they come from outsiders with expert skills that are brave enough to run and that are principled,” Bosworth said in a video interview at CQ Roll Call’s offices last week. “And I think that my example would be a great representation for South Dakota.”
An acolyte of the late Republican Gov. Bill Janklow, Bosworth said she will continue to practice medicine as she runs for the Senate. She’s largely unknown, running as an outsider in the GOP primary against former Gov. Mike Rounds in one of her party’s top pickup opportunities of the cycle.
Bosworth described the National Republican Senatorial Committee as “worried” about her candidacy. The NRSC lost a handful of Senate races over the last two cycles, thanks to weak candidates who won GOP primaries.
“We’ve got several strong Republicans running for the race and they’re quite worried about a newbie coming on scene,” she said. “But in that retort, I would say I get why they are nervous. I am clearly not from the establishment.”
Bosworth added that there is a path for a female candidate. She pointed to South Dakota Republican Rep. Kristi Noem’s path to office, saying it provides “a pretty good road map for me.”
She also said that Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins reached out to her early in her deliberations about running. SCF was founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., although he is no longer with the group since leaving the Senate for The Heritage Foundation.
Over the last three years, SCF backed a number of conservative candidates who successfully upset the mainstream Republican favorite Senate candidate. The group has yet to endorse her.
The GOP nominee will likely face Democrat Rick Weiland in the general election.
This series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions in the video have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews.