Former State Rep. Mark Venner (R-Pierre) rumored to be considering US Senate Race?

Now, here’s one out of left field.  It’s been long rumored that the Senate Conservaties Fund and others were out talking to ‘someone’ about challenging former Governor Mike Rounds in the Republican US Senate primary.

Some thought it was Dr. Annette Bosworth, who went out to DC this past week, and there were indications given by her staffer (sfogas) on Wikipedia, and a self-uploading CNN news website that she’s looking at it. However, I’ve had some conservatives tell me that, no, she wasn’t the person they were talking about, and to keep looking.

State Representative Stace Nelson was strongly considered to be in it as well. But, despite being rumored to be moving towards the race, he noted today (as well as earlier) that he was deferring to someone else:


As far as the identity of the new candidate, certain very vague clues were dropped, which, admittedly stumped me for a while, while I narrowed it down. I was told that they were well liked, soft spoken, kind, God Fearing, fiscal conservative credentials, as well as national security credentials.

And then, the hint that tipped the scale was I was told that they were a legislator previously, but not now. Mark Venner was the only one who fit all the clues given to me. And then I stumbled upon some potentially corroborating indications…

vennerforsenate(I cut out all the disclosures… but)  A whois search of web names shows that someone privately registered “VENNERFORSENATE.COM” on May 28th – about 2 weeks ago when all this chatter started that the SCF (the Senate Conservatives Fund) was talking to someone.

(Update – Venner was also at the Pennington County Lincoln Day Dinner, which was unusual for someone who was not unknown to miss his own county’s events).

venner, markFormer State Representative Mark Venner, who served in the legislature in 2011-2012, and previously served as part of the Hughes County Commission, definitely had a conservative bent during his service in both bodies, and seems to fit all the descriptions given to me. If this is correct, it’s a bit surprising, as I don’t think that Representative Venner was particularly aggressive about climbing up the ladder of office. But, stranger things have happened.

Are the clues and the web name registration just sheer coincidence?  Because from what I’m hearing, it’s evidence that there may be something to the rumors after all.

I’ve got a note to Mark asking him to shed some light on all these rumors and coincidences. And maybe why Stace Nelson would be deferring to him in the race.

Until then, stay tuned.

47 Replies to “Former State Rep. Mark Venner (R-Pierre) rumored to be considering US Senate Race?”

  1. Anonymous

    WHAT out of all these names they landed on Mark Venner? (Great guy by the way but who would have thought)

    Gary Hanson PUC
    Kristie Fiegen PUC
    Chris Nelson PUC
    Jason Gant SOS
    Jarrod Johnson S&PL
    Steve Barnett Auditor
    Marty Jackley AG
    Matt Michels Lt Governor
    Rich Sattgast Treasurer
    Russ Olson Senate Majority Leader
    Corey Brown President Pro Temp
    Tim Rave Assistant Majority Leader
    David Lust Majority Leader
    Brian Gosch Speaker
    Justin Cronin Assistant Majority Leader

    House Members
    Anderson, David L
    Bartling, Julie
    Bolin, Jim
    Cammack, Gary L
    Campbell, Blaine B
    Carson, Lance
    Conzet, Kristin
    Craig, Scott W
    Cronin, Justin R
    Dryden, Dan
    Duvall, Mary
    Ecklund, Scott W
    Erickson, Christine M
    Feickert, Dennis
    Feinstein, Marc S
    Gibson, Peggy
    Gosch, Brian G
    Greenfield, Brock L
    Haggar, Don
    Haggar, Jenna
    Hajek, Anne C
    Hansen, Jon
    Hawks, Paula
    Hawley, Spencer
    Heinemann, Leslie J
    Heinert, Troy
    Hickey, Steve
    Hoffman, Charles B
    Hunhoff, Bernie
    Johns, Timothy R
    Kaiser, Dan
    Killer, Kevin
    Kirschman, Patrick A
    Kopp, Don
    Latterell, Isaac
    Lust, David
    Magstadt, Melissa
    May, Elizabeth
    Mickelson, G. Mark
    Munsterman, Scott
    Nelson, Stace
    Novstrup, David
    Olson, Betty
    Otten, Herman
    Parsley, Scott
    Peterson, Jim
    Qualm, Lee
    Rasmussen, Nancy
    Ring, Ray
    Romkema, Fred W
    Rounds, Tim
    Rozum, Tona
    Russell, Lance S
    Schaefer, James
    Schoenfish, Kyle
    Schrempp, Dean
    Sly, Jacqueline
    Soli, Karen L
    Solum, Roger D
    Stalzer, Jim
    Steele, Manny
    Stevens, Mike
    Tulson, Burt E
    Tyler, Kathy
    Verchio, Mike
    Werner, Dick
    Westra, Steven
    Wick, Hal G
    Wink, Dean
    Wismer, Susan

    Senate Members
    Adelstein, Stanford M
    Begalka, Tim
    Bradford, Jim
    Brown, Corey
    Buhl O’Donnell, Angie
    Ewing, Bob
    Frerichs, Jason
    Heineman, Phyllis M
    Holien, Ried S
    Hunhoff, Jean M
    Jensen, Phil
    Jones, Tom
    Kirkeby, Mark
    Krebs, Shantel
    Lederman, Dan
    Lucas, Larry
    Maher, Ryan
    Monroe, Jeff
    Novstrup, Al
    Olson, Russell
    Omdahl, David M
    Otten, Ernie
    Peters, Deb
    Rampelberg, Bruce E
    Rave, Timothy A
    Rhoden, Larry
    Soholt, Deb
    Sutton, Billie H
    Tidemann, Larry
    Tieszen, Craig
    Van Gerpen, Bill
    Vehle, Mike
    Welke, Chuck
    White, Jim

    1. Straight Cash Homey

      That’s because you are talking most of the time instead of listening…

      1. Bree S.

        I have a tendency not to accept the blatant and obvious lies repeatedly posted on this blog. It’s this quality of the human mind known as “logic” – maybe you’ve heard of it? Also, I use my own name to post under instead of posting under various anonymous pseudonyms. Anonymous trolls like to give the impression of more people supporting a point of view than there actually are – no matter how lame and unlikely that point of view is.

        1. Straight Cash Homey

          “I have a tendency not to accept the blatant and obvious lies repeatedly posted on this blog. It’s this quality of the human mind –known——–as——“logic—may–yo—-hear———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-”

          I’m sorry were you talking because I stopped listening a while back…

          1. Bree S.

            Aww, you’re still upset about the facts of the structural deficit aren’t you? It’s so upsetting when you can’t change the definition of words and known facts published in several sources. The truth can be so annoying when you’re trying to lie to the public.

  2. Anonymous

    I like Venner but the SCF is obviously not interested in winning. No doubt Venner is a great guy but he’s not going to win. He doesn’t have the infrastructure or name id. I understand that if he has money he can pay for infrastructure and name id but the SCF is going to talk him into running, then do a poll, realize he’s behind 80% to Rounds and not ever help him. Venner should proceed with caution because he’s a good guy and should take another look at running for office in Pierre.

    1. Anonymous

      I assume he has a legislative network and I think he was a county commissioner. He’s not entirely unknown. I think the big question is whether Stace gets behind him?

    2. Bree S.

      I think the Senate Conservatives Fund requires a candidate to develop strong grassroots support first, before they will support him or her.

        1. Bree S.

          No, it’s listed on their public website and in public press releases for anyone who bothers to check to read.

          “If the grassroots in South Dakota get behind a strong challenger, SCF will seriously consider supporting that candidate against Mike Rounds in the Republican primary. This race is too important to concede it to another moderate politician who won’t fight for limited government.”

          It should be noted that South Dakota is on their 2014 Priority List.

  3. Anonymous

    Mark would truly be an asset to the citizens of this great Country in the United States Senate. Everything Rounds is not: veteran, conservative and honest person.

  4. Anon

    Mark Venner is a solid conservative and great guy. I hope he does get in. No telling how much he can raise through SCF.

  5. Anonymous

    Venner is solid on principles and not a ‘sometime’ conservative like you know who…

    1. Bree S.

      Here we go with the “whack job” labeling again. Worked really well for you in the Rapid City Mayoral race, didn’t it?

      1. Anonymous

        The name calling terms of wing nut, wacko birds and whack jobs are really helping the Rounds and McCains of this world, aren’t they?

  6. anybodybutrounds

    If conservatives really want to defeat Mike Rounds, everyone needs to rally around one candidate against him. Multiple candidates getting in the race just makes it easier for Rounds. And that candidate needs to be Kristi Noem, because no one else stands a chance.

    1. Anonymous

      Well, if Kristi wants it she should start the process to clear the field. Otherwise, there may be others who start raising money and have a hard time getting out, taking votes away from Kristi. I think all the conservatives would step aside for her if she’d just commit.

      1. Anonymous

        She needs to unlatch herself from obamacare before she gets my support. She’s a sometimes conservative.

        1. Anonymous

          It’s laughable that a few people think Kristi is any different than a mirror image of Rounds.

          1. Bree S.

            Writers from both the Washington Post and The Hill disagree with you as they have made statements confirming the obvious fact that Kristi Noem is more conservative than Mike Rounds.

        2. Bree S.

          She’s voted against Obamacare enough times (37?) in the House that we can be confident she would vote to repeal the ACA in the Senate. I would be more concerned about Mike Rounds getting into the Senate and voting to raise income taxes since he refuses to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

    1. Anonymous

      The petition deadline isn’t until March of 2014. No one who gets in now has to file petitions for almost a year. (My guess is most of these people we are talking about (other than Stace or Noem) could organize an effort to collect signatures.

      1. Rick "The Wild Thing" Vaughn

        Rounds is the 800lbs gorilla or people would be walking all over him right now. The reason Kristi isn’t in is because Rounds is very formidable (anyone who doubts that is foolish). Rounds would be the front runner for most of the campaign and heavily favored.

        There is a reason the Dems are running Rick “the Wild Thing” Weiland instead of Stephanie or Brendan. It’s an up hill battle no one wants.

        If Stace wants to run on his principles let him. If Kristi wants to run to advance her career let her. It’s up to each individual to do what they want.

          1. Rick "The Wild Thing" Vaughn

            I disagree. Rounds has flaws like any candidate does. Some are problematic and some aren’t. The trick is to find a way to exploit his flaws without exploiting flaws of your own. That is something that is easier said than done. (one main reason Noem would have a hard time taking on Rounds)

            You also have to take in Rounds’ strengths which outnumber his weaknesses to most people today.

            Right now almost everyone says positive things about Rounds in the general public. How do you change their minds? It’s not easy.

            You need a candidate who can articulate the reason Rounds is flawed and those flaws matter. Then you need people to accept that this alternative is worth leaving someone you have voted for in 2 statewide elections and a primary.

            It will be a tremendous undertaking for anyone.

            1. Bree S.

              Two postcards and Mark Kirkeby got 27% of the vote.

              You’re talking to someone who knows better. $127 million structural deficit, closed government, corruption, nepotism, refusal to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and the list goes on…

              The candidate who runs against Rounds will be running a positive campaign. There would be no need for that candidate to involve themselves in such voter education.

                1. Anonymous

                  Kirkeby also had his own moderate record and known affiliation to Duagaard (aka Kirkeby’s “supreme being”) hanging around his neck

  7. Rick "The Wild Thing" Vaughn

    Problem number one for the Senate Conservatives Fund is they are getting bad advice. Whomever is telling them that Mark Venner is a candidate they need to recruit is smoking crack. Fantastic fella and a great public servant but this isn’t the bush leagues anymore.

    Honestly there are only about 5 serious person’s options in this state to Mike Rounds who could run a reasonable campaign and Venner isn’t one of them.

  8. Anonymous

    Mike Rounds will have an embarrasingly hard time with all the above–Noem would best him 60% to 40%. And Rounds’ paid professional bloggers know it.

      1. Anonymous

        The thought that Rounds could top 40% against Noem in a GOP primary in this election cycle is delusional. The GOP base isn’t looking for the most liberal to represent them these days.

  9. Anonymous

    John Thune sure didn’t have primary challengers coming out of the woodwork and neither will Noem.

  10. Rick "The Wild Thing" Vaughn

    I’d like to know who that “other conservative” is that Stace is referencing in his tweet. Is it Venner or someone else?

  11. Anonymous

    Mark Venner is a very nice man but does not have a prayer in becoming a US Senator. His idealogy is very much in line with the ultra conservative wing of the GOP. Outside of those supporters, he wouldn’t have much hope. He won his legislative race in Pierre’s district on name recognition from his years on the Hughes County Commission. After a term in office, people rejected him. Quite honestly, the more people heard him speak, the more turned off they got. Besides having stances on issues most people didn’t agree with, Mark simply cannot convey his message in a short and concise manner. Rather he rambles on and on, often times getting off point. If, by some miracle, he was elected, he would just not make a very good US Senator. His only prayer in this race would be to get some serious media and speech training… and some serious donors behind him.

  12. Anonymous

    I’ve never hear a more boring, repetitious speech than the Marion’s name speech. Venner’s politics will sell outside of the tax and spend culture of Pierre. State government largess is the economic engine of Pierre.