Lust for Dryden’s seat?

I heard something interesting today.

The rumor on the street is that the Governor’s office is considering former house majority leader David Lust to assume the legislative vacancy caused by Representative Dan Dryden’s untimely passing.

Here’s where it becomes even more interesting.

What I’ve been told is that the former Representative is somewhat interested, but would be more interested if he could go back in at the top of the heap.

The word is that he is out contacting a few House members, and seeking support to run the house majority leader position. As you well know, with Brian Gosch’s term limit, and Steve Westra leaving, leadership is currently a great unknown in the house.

Rep. Qualm and Jean Hunhoff’s names come up in discussions over who may be running at this point for majority leader, but conventional wisdom would not indicate that either have any particular advantage.

Could Lust come in, and potentially ascend to the Republican throne after a gubernatorial appointment?

At the time of his previous departure, Lust was mired in a long running bout of Stace Nelson triggered misery, when the rogue legislator was accused of threatening a colleague, and in one memorable incident, was yelling at Lust across a committee room during a hearing, forcing the majority leader to deal with all the unpleasantry.

With Nelson likely to be the Senate’s problem this fall, Lust could return to a much more pleasant atmosphere. But he would have to get the leadership nod first.

And that’s not always so easy. Caucus elections can be a funny thing. Solid votes in your column sometimes evaporate when it’s time for people to make good on a commitment.

Will we see David Lust get the nod for Dan Dryden’s seat? Easily, he’s the best candidate the GOP could have in an unusual situation such as the Dryden vacancy, he has strong name identification in the district, and he could hit the campaign trail running.

It all depends on whether it ends up being worth his time or not.

7 Replies to “Lust for Dryden’s seat?”

  1. Anon

    Doesn’t Dryden need to win the election in November first? I understand that it is a solid GOP district but we’re also asking people to vote for someone who passed away over 2 months before the election.

    Speculation over who would replace Dryden seems a little premature to me. But I could be wrong. Maybe that area is so conservative they’ll vote for an R no matter what.

  2. Anonymous

    Daugaard can appoint for the remaining months of Dryden’s term but then the winner of the next election would take over. If that is Dryden then Daugaard was just signaling to the voters who would fill the void.

    Lust would be the best pick. I understand why a guy like Lust would not want to go back unless he was a major contributor.

    Lust would be a great majority leader. he would also be the best LG pick for Mickelson. Unfortunately for Mickelson Lust is a Jackley guy.

  3. Anonymous

    This is interesting. Because in past posts, you told people who questioned the information in some of your ‘stories’ that you don’t write anything based on rumors. Interesting indeed.

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      When I write on rumors I will label them. I’m not quite sure where you would’ve gleaned what you’re trying to promote, but if it was mentioned, I suspect it is being taken out of context.

  4. Anonymous

    to the first Annon, there’s a tinge of contempt in your post (maybe accidental) that the district would elect a deceased person only because its so Republican, and apparently they do that. I think the most recent example of this was from a Democrat district, when Dicky Hagen died. Partisans makeup doesn’t have anything to do with it.

  5. Anon

    No contempt intended. I’m just pointing out that talk of Lust getting appointed seems a little premature (although I get that Daugaard can appoint someone for the remainder of the current term but that will be pointless). Lust returning to Pierre next session would mean that first the district votes for Dryden, despite his unfortunate passing.

    My last point was more about the implication (with this very post) that it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Dryden will still win. Is it? And if it is, what’s the reason? One hypothesis is the one I threw out (and I’m not saying it is fact, just a possibility), that people are assuming Dryden will still win because his party (in this case GOP) is so dominant in the district that a Dem doesn’t have a chance no matter the circumstance. Your reference to the Dicky Hagen precedent, seems to imply that you think I’m saying only Republicans would do this. Not at all, which party isn’t the point.

    That may not be any clearer. But like I said, I didn’t mean any contempt in my original post.