Dark horse contender for the GOP Nomination for Governor is starting to set up shop.

Over the past couple of weeks, a dark horse contender is emerging and announcing his intention to seek the highest of South Dakota’s State Offices.  No, it’s not a name you’ve likely heard up to this point. But if he has his way, Minnehaha County Republican Terry LaFleur is working to get on the radar for 2018.

LaFleur is contacting members of the Sioux Falls media, County Commissioners, and others and announcing his belief that he has a calling to run for Governor of the State of South Dakota.  I had spoken with him briefly when I was out in a work training a couple of weeks back, and again tonight where LaFleur told me of his work to start a grassroots organization to help him get his campaign off of the ground.

I asked him what his reason for running was and he explained he has a “strong platform” that’s a little different for a Republican, calling himself both “progressive and aggressive,” as well as “compassionate and strict.”  He explained his constitutional beliefs could be termed along the lines of “original intent,” without going into detail on what exactly that entailed.

Citing a law school education,  LaFleur explained that “he believes in due process, the right to an attorney, and a right to a speedy trial.” He further explained that he believes criminal recidivism is high, because sentences are “a slap on the wrist,” invoking a stance as a law and order candidate.

LaFleur is confident that things in his campaign are going to take off and get busy fast, so he’s in the market for a campaign manager (in case anyone is looking). He specifically noted that his effort is taking off locally in Minnehaha County, where Terry tells me he’s met with the Argus, KSFY & KELO.

Although, no one has provided any coverage of his entrance into the race as of yet.

Terry doesn’t have an e-mail address or website set up yet, but it’s on his to do list, expressing that his big priority is getting his campaign off the ground, and finding that campaign manager, as well as finding a treasurer & secretary to assist him in his campaign efforts.

And with 22 months to go until the June 2018 primary, he’s got time to get that done.

8 Replies to “Dark horse contender for the GOP Nomination for Governor is starting to set up shop.”

  1. Anonymous

    An interesting development to say the least….he has a lot of time to set up the basics yet, the challenge will be seeing if his grassroots effort is serious or not.

    It will be interesting to here is life story and background.

    Then where he is on the issues…didn’t someone just win in North Dakota coming out of no where to beat a popular Attorney General?

  2. Nony

    The winner up in ND was a self funding millionaire that was rose on Trumps coat tails before the downward spiral. Stenjhem should have won for the sake of ND.

  3. Anonymous

    When Terry can articulate an original thought on an actual platform, there might be reason to care. Otherwise this seems to be a waste of resources for a vanity project.

  4. Troy Jones

    On one hand, you have David Bratt beating Eric Cantor 56%-44%.

    On the other hand, you have Paul Ryan crushing Paul Nehlen 84%-16%.

    Historically, newcomer/unknowns don’t perform well. Personally, I think it is a combination of a lack of name id, a lack of understanding how to run a campaign (raise money, get message out, and communicate), and a single message and issue which doesn’t have the legs to carry one over the top.

    A case can be made Trump has changed all that with his primary win. But, I think it depends on how he does in the general election.

    1) If he wins, all bets are off. Newcomers/unknowns will get looks they never got before by voters.

    2) If he loses but it is a close race and there is no down-ballot repercussions, I think there will be more room for newcomers/unknowns.

    3) If he loses and has down-ballot repercussions, newcomers/unknowns will become so rare they will be the exception that proves the rule.

    Basically, LaFluer’s future is in Trump’s hands.

    1. Anonymous


      A lot of it will always fall on a candidates ability to articulate why they are running and if they have retail political skills.

      In addition it falls on their opponents. Do they have serious flaws do they not show up in their district.

      Trump won because everyone in the GOP wanted to run for president and they weren’t all that different from each other on message. A considerable number of voters think the GOP doesn’t do what it says it will.

      Bratt won because cantor was awol in his district and bratt was a reasonable and intelligent guy who lived there. Wasn’t a kstreet/Wall Street guy.

      Ryan won (I don’t care for him) because voters in his district think he is there and advocates for them. Nehlen was angry and way over the top.

      This guy in SF will have 0 chance.

  5. Troy Jones

    Anonymous 9:20:

    You said: “A lot of it will always fall on a candidates ability to articulate why they are running and if they have retail political skills.”

    I agree “a lot” depends on those attributes you mention. However, the environment has to be receptive someone “unknown and unproven” for it to matter. While Trump came to the table very well known, he was unproven. And, if he does poorly in the end, it will be because of a perception his mistakes (e.g. what has befallen him this past couple of weeks) were because he was unproven. This will make it harder for future unproven candidates to get a look.

    I love primaries and have no problem with anyone throwing their hat in the ring. But, environment for candidates with certain attributes can make it a mountain too high to climb no matter their ability to articulate and their retail skills. That is all I am saying.

  6. Anonymous

    There will need to be a conservative contender. Maybe this LaFluer is the guy. We will all have to listen to his presentation.