Tomorrow, South Dakotans will choose the person who will run against Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in this fall’s general election. Well, the registered Republicans will do the choosing. The rest of us will do our best to pick the right person from the fall options.
Unlike the slate of candidates for the Governor’s office, those who are striving for the Republican nod for representative have much more in common with each other. I think I would be reasonably happy should any one of them succeed in moving Ms. Herseth Sandlin from the House to her house–in whatever state that may now be found.
My thoughts on tomorrow’s three contestants for the Republican nomination for Representative are as follows:
- Blake Curd — Of these three candidates, I’ve actually seen Mr. Curd in person and spoken briefly with him. I find him a serious individual and quite driven in those things to which he has set his mind. If I remember correctly, he was the first of the three to announce his intentions to run for this office. He seems to have a good grasp of the issues which are particularly energizing the populace at this time: health care, taxation, etc. As a successful surgeon, he is seen as the enemy by those who would engage in good old-fashioned class warfare. However, he knows what hard work is and seems willing to work hard both to get the nomination and then the general election. Name recognition is relatively strong, particularly with the more conservative Tea Party types.
- Chris Nelson — As South Dakota’s Secretary of State, Mr. Nelson has generally received good marks for his work in overseeing elections and related matters. Of the three candidates, he is the one with the greatest experience in government. That experience is both a benefit and a drawback. Having not worked in the private sector in a number of years, he may be fairly understood to have lost some connection to the average citizen. Despite that, his work for the Round’s administration generally helps (for the same reason that Daugaard is benefited: most people do not actively dislike the current governor.) Name recognition is very strong for Mr. Nelson because of his current job. As an almost total aside, I wish he’d kept the ‘stache.
- Kristi Noem — Ms. Noem and has made substantial progress over the last few weeks getting her name and message in front of people. There is little question that she has made a place for herself in the legislature as well, though she has only been there for two terms. Her story of hard work and sacrifice is one which resonates with many of the rural areas of the state. While her stated positions on serious policy matters are quite close to those of the other candidates, she does have one advantage which they lack: she can cancel out the “female factor” of Ms. Herseth Sandlin.
If you are a registered Republican voter, please do get out and vote tomorrow. Research the candidates, talk to people you trust and consider that your choice may well have long-term influence on the state of South Dakota and her citizens.