Is Varilek avoiding debates like Johnson in 2008?

Argus Leader reporter Jonathon Ellis makes a great point about the Democratic congressional primary (or lack of one).

Attention Democratic organizations: How about a debate or two?

In a month, the Democrats (along with independents, if they wish to vote) will pick a candidate to challenge Rep. Kristi Noem in the November election. But outside of the two candidates running in the primary, the Democratic Party chairman and maybe three or four other people in the state, nobody else seems to know there?s a race.

There hasn?t been a lot of media attention, that I?ll grant. The two candidates, Jeff Barth and Matt Varilek, pointed that out to me last week. Well, I asked, is there a debate coming up that we could cover?


What is going on with these guys? If medicare, keystone, the tea party, the GOP are so terrible, wouldn’t you think the Dems would want to get out and make as much noise about those issues as possible?

Curd, Noem and Nelson took advantage of a contested primary and used it to their advantage.

It appears to me that Matt Varilek is following Tim Johnson’s playbook from 2008. No debates. Period.

10 Replies to “Is Varilek avoiding debates like Johnson in 2008?”

    1. Anonymous

      That would be good for Barth even though he’s going to lose. He will still get a PUC nomination against Nelson if he wants it and his name id will be better for having debated in this primary.

  1. caheidelberger

    This story has legs only if you can demonstrate that Barth has called for debates and Varilek has refused. Otherwise, it’s just more wishful DWC meme-fabrication, without facts or analysis.

    1. delegate

      hard for me to believe you wouldn’t seek debates out if you were to run for office cory. why aren’t they?

  2. Lloyd

    Varilek is a well-educated Washington insider from Sen Johnson’s office offering more of the same kick-the-can-down-the-road-and-then-pat-yourselves-on-the-back congress. I’m annoyed that Barth doesn’t get the time of day from the party, and that he’ll lose this primary solely because of V’s highbrow endorsements from the current political elite.

    1. Anonymous

      Varilek certainly hasn’t earned this nomination in the sense that he’s made the case he’s the better candidate.

      He may have earned it by being friends with certain people but not because he’s proven to be the best candidate.

      1. Anonymous

        This is exactly the case, no one is excited about him because he hasn’t won over any endorsements as a candidate. He only knows the right people and that doesn’t seem like all that great of a reason.


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