Governor Rounds looks to the fall…

Former Governor Mike Rounds

Things are getting exciting. And Republicans are getting one step closer to claiming all three federal offices in South Dakota. According to a recent article by Kevin Woster, popular former Governor Mike Rounds doesn’t appear to be taking lightly the idea of running for Senate in ‘2014.

Former Gov. Mike Rounds said Thursday that he will decide by fall whether to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by longtime Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

It’s clear Rounds understands that his timing and decision making will impact how the race evolves. Fall is an early decision. Most people I’ve spoken with have always assumed he would make his decision known sometime after the holidays following the new year. But it is clear that things are progressing much faster than most of us had expected.

We can also speculate that a decision has most likely already been made, because I don’t think many of us believe Rob Skjonsberg went to Fischer Rounds to sell insurance.

And if Rounds does run in 2014, he said he won?t be signing any no-tax pledges.

?I don?t think you go in saying I will never do this or never do that,? he said. ?No, I will not sign a no-new tax pledge.?…

Rounds said he would be a tough, though not irrational, budget hawk if he were in the U.S. Senate, promising to seek ways to reduce spending and fight a growing deficit that threatens the nation?s future. But taking a possible tax increase off the table is a poor tactical move in a congressional world where compromise is often essential to getting things done, he said.

Considering the current mess we are in, I believe that is a realistic approach and fairly similar to the opinion expressed by Senator Thune earlier this year about searching for broad based changes to the tax code.

“We shouldn’t be bound by something that could be interpreted in different ways if, in fact, what we’re trying to accomplish is broad-based tax reform that will lead to greater economic activity, greater economic growth, job creation in this country and, therefore, more government revenue that would help us deal with this deficit issue,” Thune told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Wednesday…

“Obviously, there are going to be lots of people who have made pledges in the past on various tax pledges that have been put out there that are probably going to have to revisit those,” he told MSNBC.

Thune said that if “we can generate more government revenue by increasing economic activity out there and creating jobs for people in this country, we’re going to be for that.”

Having recently spent time discussing the idea of a Rounds Senate run with friends, many felt the idea of having a leader with executive experience in DC would offer broad appeal to voters and be a strong asset in a campaign.

But assuming he were to announce his candidacy, he also doesn’t have clear sailing to the nomination just yet:

Rounds said his decision on the 2014 Senate race will not hinge on who else is running or expected to run. That includes Noem, who has been seen as a possible contender for the Senate seat in 2014 provided she turns her favorite status into a re-election win this year in the House race.

Rounds’ early public appearances obviously make Noem’s decision regarding a potential senate run more difficult than her congressional colleague and neighbor to the north Rick Berg’s and indicate to Senator Johnson that he is definitely not getting a free pass in 2014 if he chooses to run for reelection.

51 Replies to “Governor Rounds looks to the fall…”

  1. 73*

    The idea that there is a difference between Noem and Rounds is one only cooked up in Noem’s head. They are both more than talented enough to win the US Senate seat. I would support both but hope there isn’t a primary.

    From the Rapid City Journal 2010:

    ?I took the conservative view on that, and Kristi chose to take the money and kick the can down the road a ways rather than do what we needed to do,? Curd said.

    Noem argues that while the stimulus program was imperfect and costly, South Dakota would have been foolish to refuse money that otherwise would have gone to other states. She said the budgets she voted for were balanced without raising taxes or spending state reserves.

    ?What he (Curd) actually voted against was the general bill, which includes all the spending for state government,? she said. ?I think people are looking for solutions, not just somebody who voted ?no.??

    Read more:

    1. Anonymous

      This is the key sentence from her quote above – “She said the budgets she voted for were balanced without raising taxes or spending state reserves.”

      Balanced budgets? That is the main arguement against Rounds but how does it work if she thinks she balanced the budgets while she was in the legislature?

  2. Troy Jones Post author

    Think about it. The GOP has the potential of the following:

    1) A successful former Governor and a successful current Congresswoman running in the primary.

    2) A deep bench of potential successor candidates to Noem.

    While the Democrats fear they might have to recruit a person who has never been elected to anything to oppose them.

    Wouldn’t want to be them. 🙂

    1. toga

      I’m not sure what Noem has done while elected to congress. That is why I don’t think she will be more than a personality if she chooses to run for Senate. Personality can win though and often does over substance.

      I am not very familiar with Governor Rounds (I was not involved in politics when he ran). But everyone I know speaks very highly of him.

      I truly pitty the Dems…

      1. Anonymous

        No, not everyone speaks highly of Rounds. As a very conservative Republican, the only way I would EVER cast a vote for the “accidental governor” is if he was the only one running against Johnson. In a primary against any member of the Republican party, I would vote for his opponent and a whole lot of folks west river feel just like I do.

  3. Anonymous

    Noem better run. Although she’s not much better, Rounds is truly a poor leader. If Noem doesn’t run, there must and will be a primary anyway.

    1. Siouxland

      Eight consecutive balanced budgets, an approval rating over 70% and continuing his legacy by getting Governor Daugaard elected with over 50% of the vote in the primary.

      1. Anonymous

        Seven out of eight budget years were deficits paid for by the property tax relief fund. Took every dime of stimulus he could whore South Dakota out for.

          1. Anonymous

            Yes she did and Curd had much better judgment and abilities. That being said, Noem didn’t fire the brand board by Highway Patrol and didn’t push for the Neutrino Lab that is just a big money pit now. Great job, Governor Rounds.

        1. LFoss

          Amen…Rounds was not an effective leader. IMHO, Rounds is not South Dakota’s best Republican candidate for US Senate. He doesn’t have the vision to lead, he lacks tha ability to look at the “big” picture. He has a very narrow box.

      2. TruthSpeaks

        Getting an approval rating over 70% does not count as an accomplishment. I am still waiting for accomplishments to be named. Also he didn’t pass the budget, the legislature did. Getting DD elected didn’t cement his legacy, just furthered do nothing Governors.

      3. Agot

        all of those budgets required money from other funding sources.

        He only balanced the budget because state law said he had to.

        Look under the surface and we find Rounds was a big spending Republican who didn’t have the balls to tell people NO.

        1. Agot

          And what about GOV Rounds taking 2 million from the South Dakota Highway Patrol and moving the money to the state “aviation” account so he could fly an airplane that would allow him to get a better av rating?

          Then the legislature passed a fee increase on vehicles, license plates etc…and we will still have that fee being assessed…

    2. Anonymous

      Uhhh, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing and nothing. He did take a lot of federal money though.

      1. name

        Did he personally profit from taking $3 million in federal farm subsidies? I hope there is a blood bath between the two…

        Herseth will then take over and be back in power…

        1. Ymous

          Keep dreaming. She took for the last time from this state. Carpetbagging lobbiest that she is. Her brand is so diminished and soiled that she rarely even shows her face. Just like Dashle. Wased up has been that doesn’t care about our state.

  4. Oldguy

    This surprises you…..why? Say what you want about Rounds but no matter who the final candidate is TJ will not get a free pass. I voted for TJ last time because I use to believe he was a moderate but not any more. I read some where that TJ and JT vote opposite 95% of the time which leads to the question of who really represents South Dakota.

  5. Anonymous

    Wow so Thune wants no taxes then , lets cut farm subsidies over 250 grand, Johnsons bill will do that where are you John.Do as I say not as I do.

  6. insomniac

    For everyone getting worked up about a primary I guarantee you that there will not be one.

    SD’s only so big and there is only so much money to go around. If Rounds runs Noem will not run against him. If Noem runs Rounds will not run against her.

    Either way I’m glad I’m a Republican and I’m happy to be a Rounds and Noem supporter.

  7. Anonymous

    The opening salvo is fired. Rounds will refuse to sign a no-new tax pledge, saying he will be a tough, THOUGH NOT IRRATIONAL budget hawk.

    Thune & Noem have both signed that pledge – making them both irrational according to Rounds. Take that Noem & Thune!

  8. Jack

    Not a fan of Gov Rounds. By all accounts, just another paper Republican.

    Dusty is sharp, would like to see how he is on issues though.

  9. Anonymous

    Knowing both of the potential Senate candidates Noem would be the one to take off the gloves and get rough in a primary. I’m not sure it would work against Mike. He’s just a simple nice guy. Some of his supporters might encourage him to go at her but I just don’t see him taking the bait.

    1. Anonymous

      Mike is simple all right, but he’s definately NOT a nice guy. Round is not much of an improvement over Johnson. He’s just another big spender, only concerned with his image.

      1. insomniac

        The Rounds machine seems to be very strong in SD especially after seeing the endorsement Daugaard got from the primary voters.

        I’m quite certain that if we saw a poll today of Rounds, Daugaard and Noem’s favorability ratings Rounds would have the highest. Maybe it’s because he was governor over good times but it’s still hard to believe he’s not a very strong candidate and I frankly believe he would be the strongest in the general.

        1. insomniac

          And might I ad that the rap on Daugaard throughout the primary was that he was a Mike Rounds clone.

          He certainly isn’t and I love Dennis Daugaard for being his own person but you can’t rip on Rounds for being very popular himself.

  10. Anonymous

    If Dusty wins would he stay long enough or would he run for president.One thing about Dusty he is Mr switcheroo.

      1. Oldguy

        I like Dusy a lot but when you ask people for their money and their comitment of their vote while the only thing you are comitmenting to is do a job at the PUC then win and say sorry don’t want this job is plain wrong. Comintments go BOTH ways.

        1. Name

          Oh please. It wasn’t like Dusty left for a cushy private sector job. He is still serving those exact same people who voted for him. He stepped up when he was asked by the Gov to serve.

          1. insomniac

            Well maybe Old Guy has a point. Everyone involved in politics in this state believes Dusty pushed for that job.

            It could be a very hard issue to overcome if he were to be a nominee for higher office against a strong candidate.

            1. Les

              Dusty is a great servant and will become a great leader with time. All will have forgotten this move when Dusty becomes Governor/Senator material.

              Maybe it won’t be forgotten, he is already better material than most of our US congressional delegation.

              1. Oldguy

                Les I agree with you but I believe he should have served at least part of term he RAN for. He is a good person that’s is for sure and Iwould vote for him against both dem. and long as I was sure he was going to take the job HE WAS ASKING US FOR.

      2. Agot

        Dusty has never worked in the private sector in his life…the last time was when he was 15 years old and working for walmart.

        He has never balanced a private sector budget or had to make payroll or been in charge of real budgetary issues outside of government life.

        We don’t need lifetime government appointees/politicians running south dakota government…looks where it’s got us…

        1. N

          Bill Janklow worked for the public sector much of his adult life. AG, Gov, Gov, Congress. I think he did fine. It’s about leadership.

  11. The Truth

    Rounds would be the strongest candidate against Herseth, Johnson or any other democrat. I’m sure all of the prospects already see this.

  12. Clay Bill

    The way Noem is performing, more and more South Dakotans wonder if she is qualified to serve in the House. Why would anyone believe she would be more fit in the Senate than Rounds, who has eight years of government executive experience under his belt?

    1. delegate

      Very good point.

      I’m not convinced she doesn’t dislike Rounds enough to run though… She really believes she is a big deal.

      The longer she has been there the more convinced I am that Dusty Johnson or Chris Nelson would have been more sollution oriented. She is simply a hyper partisan leadership junkie who wants to climb the ladder to the top. That’s why I think she will run for US Senate against Round or anyone. She has guts but she is not a very good legislator.

  13. Anonymous

    Dusty is a sharp dude. I do not get the move to the chief of staff job, unless they thought Tim Johnson’s health was failing. Other than that, he gains access to the Daugaard campaing machine and money, but that still leaves him on many people’s not nice list for switching chairs right after winning his term.

    I think it is going to hurt him when he tries to move on, especially if he keeps burning political capitol covering the governor.

    What about the young fair haired Prince Mickelson’s venture into politics? Does anyone believe he will be content as a state legislator? You also have the ambitious David Lust who is reported to be eyeing a run for Noem’s seat in ’14. Not enough positions for this group of people believing they are entitled, many will surely be dissappointed in the future.

    1. Name

      You don’t “get it” it because you are looking at it through only a poltical lense. It doesn’t make any sense that way. Dusty knew it would hurt him politically. He did it because the Governor asked him to serve. Service when called means something to some people. A selfish man worried about his future would have said no. Dusty said yes.

      1. insomniac

        We can mock Dusty but the move elevated him politically. He is in better with many fundraisers and while I didn’t like that he left the PUC and most people I’ve asked don’t like it what are the odds someone who can defeat him runs against him in a primary?

        Does anyone think Russ Olson will run? He is about the only person I would think could defeat Dusty.

        And Does Noem run for Senate? I kind of doubt it. So the conversation doesn’t matter…

      2. Agot

        So the Governor asking Dusty to serve as his chief of staff meant more to Dusty than his commitment to voters by running for a second term on the PUC?

        DJ made a serious error in judgment that exposed his willingness to look out for himself more than the voters whose trust and support he was seeking while campaigning.

        Chief of staff is a position that can be filled by many people…can you really sell that, “the Governor asked me,” stuff any better?

  14. Lee Schoenbeck

    Tim Johnson’s voting record is perfect for a state – just not South Dakota — maybe Massachussetts, or California — but probably not a state between the Rockies and the Allegahnies. He’s an Obama clone, go’n home in 2014