Future plans for Rounds and Dusty Johnson?

Mike Rounds/Dusty Johnson

While Janklow’s closing of his political campaign account was a look back at the past, the Argus also noted that Dusty Johnson and Mike Rounds also have considerable funds still in their campaign accounts:

Nor is it unusual for politicians to have extra money in their accounts once their time in office is over. Former Gov. Mike Rounds had more than $267,000 at the end of last year…

Former Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson had more than $58,700 in his account at the end of last year. Johnson resigned and is serving as Gov. Dennis Daugaard?s chief of staff.

Johnson says he hasn?t given a lot of thought to how he?s going to use the money. But it almost certainly will involve donating to candidates he supports or donating the money to charity.

Johnson could use the campaign contribution money if he chose to run for another office in the future. But, he said: ?I don?t have any plans to run for any office at this point. If I was going to run for office, I?d raise funds for that office.?

The funds Dusty Johnson has sitting in his campaign account are one more reason most believe he is still a very likely candidate for future office. How do you see Dusty’s political career taking shape beyond his time as Chief of Staff to Governor Daugaard?

18 Replies to “Future plans for Rounds and Dusty Johnson?”

  1. Anonymous

    If there is an open seat for Congress in ’14 Dusty will run and so will a bunch of other qualified candidates. I could not predict the winner now that Dusty is out of the PUC. If he had stayed he’d be the frontrunner but I don’t think that is clear anymore.

  2. Susan

    I think Dusty’s move to chief of staff showed that he is willing to make a difference outside of holding elected office. Instead of hitting Lincoln Day Dinners and campaigning, he’s working insane hours helping to run state government. That sounds like a guy who has moved beyond elected office, as being chief does not make a person popular. There are too many people you have too fire and too many times you end up being the axe man in other ways, as well. I’d bet on his next job being out of government altogether.

  3. springer

    I think the gov’s office needs to take a closer look at whether qualified people are appointed to fill heads of departments. That isn’t happening now, and it is very disappointing. I had higher hopes for them. If they are taking a hands off approach and hoping that qualified people are appointed, it’s a big mistake, and the other employees in these departments/division and the people of SD are the losers.

  4. Anonymous

    “But it almost certainly will involve donating to candidates he supports or donating the money to charity.”

    That statement looks like one said by someone looking to gather political support leading up to a congressional run.

  5. Daniels

    Also, springer you should email Dusty who the weak links are. I’d bet between budgets, floods, murders, and other diasters, some of the quieter department heads can fly under Dugaards notice. Never hurts to call a little extra attention to those folks.

  6. Anonymous

    Dusty is a good guy and I really think a lot of him. I don’t know if he is a frontrunner in a primary or not but he would be a top tier candidate. I do think that his leaving the PUC for CoS has given his opponents the idea that he has a chink in his armor.

    He’s talented enough to overcome any problems and I believe would be much more about fundamental change in DC then Noem is. Dusty would not be for the status quo and he wouldn’t defend big government entitelments like Noem. Dusty would look for solutions and probably be similar to Newt Gingrich or Paul Ryan.

    Noem is like Boehner.

    1. Name

      Good comments, anny. I think you can see that (shake up status quo, anti-deficit, pro-limited government) has been the case in Pierre in the last year. Obviously Daugaard is running the show, but don’t think Dusty hasnt been a huge part of trying to change that culture, as well. Good stuff.

      1. OC

        Dusty certainly does represent the conservative wing of the GOP. Perhaps maybe even libertarian leaning in many cases. Dusty is a thinker and a problem solver.

        Honestly I would trade Noem for Dusty today. There isn’t enough substance behind Noem for me. She is trying to save farm subsidies for wealthy farmers and figure out how to save EAS, super committee… The list goes on and on.

        There is a reason people like Dusty don’t make it to DC very often and it’s because they seek real change.

        And Dusty wouldn’t have back out of doing Town Halls like Noem. He’d answer every question and like Thune often does he’d be the last to leave a meeting or gathering instead of always being the first like noem. Noems staff really puts noem on a pedestal and I’m not sure if it’s because they worship her or if it’s because Noem expects it but it looks bad to see them rush her out of everything.

  7. Anonymous

    Dusty has more potential and we will see him run again. When he does, I will be there holding signs, knocking on doors and passing out stickers at parades to support him. I believe in his spirit and the brand that he has created.


    Dusty is not only a very bright and talented politician, more importantly, he is a good person. We could use a Pierre full of or a DC full of people like him.

  9. Anonymous

    Dusty was sorely needed at the State Dinner last night. I thought Noem was not on her game and Daugaard was quick. Both had a couple good jokes but it wasn’t quite what I had expected.

    1. Name

      Regarding Dusty at the state dinner. He’s a very good speaker, and like the best pastors, gives the congregation the benefit of the doubt. He doesn’t speak down to them, but urges them to think seriously about important questions. Thune and Daugaard do that, as well, but not in a way that is quite as entertaining.


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