David Montgomerey’s recent post on Mount Blogmore goes a long way in highlighting the different positions on issues that have plagued the South Dakota Democratic Party’s statewide candidates for the last several years. The story also indicates Jeff Barth might be willing to drive a wedge even deeper into the Democratic party by taking on Matt Varilek, the establishment’s chosen one.
?I?ve campaigned across the state with Matt Varilek,? Barth said. ?I talk about issues like Medicare and Medicaid and the Ryan budget. Matt generally regurgitates Sen. Daschle?s endorsement letter.?
Barth is also finding energy and support from the base for his support for gay marriage.
Some Democrats have been outspokenly critical of Varilek for this position, and Barth says he?s gotten more donations and support from people who like his position in favor of same-sex marriage.
The whole exchange seems to have reinvigorated Barth, who called the newsroom today, declared himself ?cranky? and proceeded to lay into Varilek in much harsher terms than I?ve seen so far in this largely civil and quiet Democratic primary.
Now your guess is as good as mine as to how many people care one way or the other about same sex marriage in SD… But I would assume Ben Nesselhuf had it right when he said it was a “peripheral issue.” The problem for Varilek and Nesselhuf is that it doesn’t appear to be a peripheral issue to an active segment of the Democratic base in SD.
Varilek might have some fence mending to do with the base if he is to win the nomination in June.
Varilek admitted he?s gotten some backlash from Democrats upset about his position on same-sex marriage.
?Some people are disappointed that I support civil unions and support letting churches and states define the term ?marriage,? in particular,? Varilek said. ?I?m talking to a lot of folks who feel that way, as well as folks who feel differently.?
Don’t worry Matt, just tell them you were endorsed by Daschle. Maybe they’ll get over it…