Mark Mickelson bows out of 2018 Gubernatorial race.

Looks like someone got ahold of a letter before I did. As teased earlier today, Mark Mickelson has decided to take a pass on running for Governor:

MICKELSON, G. MARK_bcard_clipMark Mickelson, the Sioux Falls lawmaker who has been considered a favorite to be the state’s next governor, says he has decided not to run for the job when it’s open in 2018.

Mickelson, 50, had been actively fundraising and gearing up against potential GOP primary rivals, raising about $1 million for the campaign. But the commitment it takes to run a large statewide race was taking him away from his wife and three boys, who range in age from 17 to 13.


Mickelson notified his supporters with letters and phone calls this week. He said he will return money to donors.

Read it all here.

24 Replies to “Mark Mickelson bows out of 2018 Gubernatorial race.”

  1. Anonymous

    Stunned….all that fundraising and working the circuit to drop out so soon…wow

    I think this gives Marty more time to officially announce he doesn’t need to rush it now…Noem won’t do anything till next year….see how it goes with Trump in office

    extremely interesting day…what a week

  2. Anon

    Mickelson was not high on my list but he moved up a bit on the ladder. Putting family first? Who does that? Impressive.

    1. Anonymous

      Every politician who isn’t running…says he is not running for family reasons

      Does this put Mat Michaels in the game now?

      1. Anonymous

        Best thing Marty can do is pick up the phone and do what Daugaard did with Michels. Who’s your toughest competition that you get along with and make that person an offer to be your LG.

  3. Marilyn Oakes

    Makes me wonder if he has confirmation of Noem running? Not that his family isn’t that important to him, as I know they are. Don’t mean to demean his comments about that.

    1. Anonymous

      I am with Marilyn.

      Mickelson is close to Thune and his staff. Someone must have told him that Kristi was running and shown him some evidence of polling that says he cannot win or it is unlikely. Mickelson has plenty of time to wait for 8 or 16 years. It obviously looks good to get out now rather than after losing by 20% to Kristi.

      That said I also agree with the commenter who said that he likes Mickelson better now than before.

      1. Anonymous

        Nope. Could it be that people simply don’t like Pierre? I think Mickelson has made a bigger impact on our state and economy by running a business than any governor has in the last 15 years.

  4. Troy Jones

    I have been dreading this coming out and had no intention to comment. Personally, I’m saddened for our state. I know firsthand the greatness of his Dad’s tenure and see the same traits in Mark, among which is a singular motive to serve the people of our state. But, as a friend, I wholly understand and endorse his decision.

    1) My office and Mark’s are on the same floor and I’ve known Mark long before I worked for his dad. And, we are in a weekly small Discipleship Group together. This proximity gave me a close-up witness to the time and effort he had put into raising the $1mm, how often he was away from his family, and how he didn’t like being away.

    2) If the prospect of a tough race was going to have an impact, it would have been a motivation to stay in the race because of his competitive drive. His dad entered his race as the underdog against the sitting Lt. Gov., the Secretary of State, and a former Congressman and we know how that turned out. If he had had to run against Noem, he would have done it and was prepared to win or lose.

    3) This is a decision wholly and completely motivated by family. Nobody’s family has given more to this state than Mark’s and if he determines he can’t give any more at this time (or ever), it is a decision I can’t help but respect.

    I hope we will just accept the decision on face value and confine the speculation to the impact it will have on the race and potential competitors.

      1. Charlie Hoffman

        You could run anyone in all of SD Government for House Speaker against Mark and Mark would win.

  5. Harry Christianson

    Noem had nothing to do with Mark’s decision. I am disappointed with his decision but understand his reasoning and support him unequivocally. A man who puts his family above personal ambition is truly unique. God speed Mark.

      1. Anonymous

        You are dense if you don’t realize that Kristi didn’t “put it out there”. She’s been long speculated to run (although she won’t) and was asked. Her answer has always been people have encouraged me to run. So dense.

      2. Troy Jones

        Kristi was also responding to Mark’s decision. Plus, it is after the election so she can be looking forward to the next election.

  6. Anon

    Pretty shocking. Can’t help but respect Mark for coming to this conclusion (I don’t see any reason to believe it wasn’t a family decision).

    I firmly believe the race is Noem’s to lose now.

  7. father of three

    Wonder how long until Rounds announces. Rumors are that he does not like being in DC and is considering a run for the Governorship again. If that is true, how many others would drop out of the race? For him it would be a win/win situation. He is not up for re-election until after the election, and if he did win, he would get to select his replacement.