I was reading the Capital Journal this morning, and had to do some head scratching over a couple of comments in this article:
It’s still early in the campaign season for most candidates. For example, state Rep. Stace Nelson kicked off his bid less than a week ago. But the question remains of when the capital will see its first public campaign stop and what role it will play in electing the state’s next senator.
Jon Schaff, a political scientist at Northern State University, said since it’s still early in the race some candidates have stayed close to home. But he would advise them not to dawdle in getting to the capital.
“I think a candidate is making a mistake if he or she does not make it to Pierre sooner rather than later,” he said.
Pierre has more importance than its size would suggest, Schaff said, especially as the seat of state government. Many of the state’s activists, interest groups and elected officials, who have important connections and access to donors, are located in town. It’s also the place to “pay court” at party headquarters, he said.
For the serious campaign that wants to build a ground game and hire experienced staffers, it’s also a good place to look for recruits, he said.
Schaff said those type of political connections make Pierre a more significant stop than a city such as Aberdeen, despite having 10,000 fewer people. It would be the third place he would go, after hitting population centers Rapid City and Sioux Falls, he said.
Don’t you just love those ‘in-the-know’ who have never been in the trenches? Ugh. ““pay court” at party headquarters?” In case anyone missed the memo, The bulk of the GOP operation moved to Sioux Falls. Over a year ago.