If you know me, you know I sometimes like to stir the pot a bit.
And when it comes to the race for Governor in 2018, I enjoy the chatter on these posts, because it’s already inflaming the passions of political prognosticators. So, posts on the topic tend to stir the pot alot.
One question that’s come to mind recently is questioning where US Senator John Thune’s allegiances are going to lie in the upcoming Gubernatorial race. Because he has ties to all three of the major candidates vying for the big prize.
If you know Attorney General (And 2018 contender) Marty Jackley, you know he came to the Attorney Generals office by way of serving as the US Attorney for South Dakota during the Bush Years. Who nominated him for the office in 2006?
Newly minted US Senator John Thune, of course:
The White House on Thursday nominated Rapid City lawyer Marty Jackley as U.S. attorney for South Dakota, filling a post that has been open for more than a year.
The state has been without a permanent U.S. attorney since James McMahon left the office early last year to return to private practice. As the state’s only Republican senator, U.S. Sen. John Thune has been responsible for sending the candidate’s name to President Bush, who then nominates the person for confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Kristi Noem, South Dakota’s current Congresswoman is spoken about contender for the Governor’s mansion in 2018, but of course she has this years’ congressional contest to get past first. As one third of the Washington delegation, she clearly has a strong working relationship with the good Senator.
In fact, it’s so strong a relationship this year that they’re share a key staffer, Josh Shields. Josh is currently managing Senator Thune’s campaign, and managed Kristi Noem’s 2010 campaign to victory over incumbent Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Shields also used to be Noem’s Communications Director.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., has hired Joshua Shields to be his campaign manager, the aide confirmed to CQ Roll Call Tuesday.
Shields is a South Dakota native who worked on Thune’s 2002 and 2004 races and in his Senate office.
In 2010, he was the campaign manager for Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., in her first bid for Congress against former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.
And finally, here’s one I noticed the other day when I was perusing the latest FEC filings from the candidates, specifically in reference to 2018 Gubernatorial contender Mark Mickelson.
If you’re not familiar with Senator Thune’s campaign organization, officially, it’s called Friends of John Thune – and it has been his primary campaign committee for years.
Who is the treasurer for the long-standing political wing of the Thune organization? Someone with a particularly close association with State Representative Mickelson…. and one who might just be First Lady after the 2018 election:
So, which candidate will Senator Thune pick for the 2016 election? They’re all pretty darned good.
To answer the question, in all seriousness, it’s most likely that the Senator will defer to the GOP electorate at large & let them pick who they will.
And in any case, I suspect it will be easy for Senator Thune to support whoever wins, especially since they all have a long history together, no matter which one wins the primary!