These endorsements really don’t fit the impression I had developed of Governor Dennis Daugaard. On one hand I’m thinking YES! Governor Dennis Daugaard is taking a stand, and he’s showing people that he will put skin in the game. On the other hand, running for the legislature is an opportunity for people looking out for their constituents’ best interest. That isn’t always what’s in the best interest of the Governor or his office. What he and his staff are doing indicates that if you are with him you will reap great rewards but if you are against him you may suffer severe retaliation.
I had an image of Daugaard as someone who could quell the conflict in our party by bringing people together. Taking sides and endorsing a challenger over an incumbant isn’t the way to do that no matter how nice of a guy Val Rausch is.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard has endorsed House Speaker Val Rausch in his primary challenge to incumbent Republican Sen. Tim Begalka, R-Clear Lake.
Combined with another new endorsement, that of former Rep. Mike Buckingham in his battle with Rep. Phil Jensen for an open Senate seat in Rapid City, that makes five endorsements for Daugaard in Republican primaries this year.
The article mentions that Daugaard was inclined to support Rausch over Begalka because of Rausch’s fiscal disipline, and the other key factor was that Rausch endorsed Daugaard for Governor in the 2010 primary.
Certainly there are many in the party who are absolutely unreasonable and maybe they are impossible to work with or incapable of being realistic. In that instince Daugaard might be right to take sides now rather than wasting his time attempting to bring a segment of people together who will never see eye to eye no matter how much effort is exhausted.
I am a big fan of returning loyalty, but I’ve also always had a tendancy to root for the underdog. The Governor of South Dakota has so much strength and financial backing compared to an individual legislator that an endorsement can be very powerful.
Endorsing in contested primaries especially against incumbants will only increase the animosity among alienated legislators or segments of the party. It’s hard for me to understand why this is being done, especially when Republicans control such vast majorities in both legislative chambers.
This move could payoff for Daugaard in the short term while the GOP is fat and happy in numbers, but if Democrats ever make any real gains in the legislature over the next six years, Governor Daugaard might find himself reaching out to some of those individuals he chose not to support for key votes on important pieces of legislation.
In many ways I admire Dennis Daugaard for his endorsments, but at the same time I feel uneasy about the whole thing.