Mike Rounds for Senate? Expect it.

Former Governor Mike Rounds

Speculation abounds across the state about whether former Governor Mike Rounds will seek the GOP nomination for US Senate in 2014. And that is what makes a recent comment by someone very close to the former Governor so interesting.

?If you?d have asked me when he was governor, I?d have said no way because he doesn?t like DC, but I can tell he?s getting restless again. Let?s just say I?d be more surprised if he doesn?t run than if he does,? the source said with a look of anticipation.

Shortly after that observation, I heard from a high level official with ties to Noem who made his opinion clear.

?He?s gonna run based on everything I?m hearing. He?s a very popular former governor.?

You could see his concern about the prospect of an impending primary between Rounds and Noem. That is a main point of discussion among most GOP activists in the state. Both candidates could create a high intensity level among strong supporters leading into the general election.

The rumors encourage the assumption that his strongest supporters sure don?t want us to rule anything out, and my feeling is that the political career of Mike Rounds has not yet concluded.

To be continued?

68 Replies to “Mike Rounds for Senate? Expect it.”

  1. chris

    What’s the deal with so many anonymous sources in “Bill Clay” posts? I remember back in the day, anonymous commenting was pretty seriously discouraged here on the war college. I can scarcely think of a “Bill Clay” post that has attributed a source. Shameful.

    What would Pat Powers say?

    1. on the fence

      Most people don’t want to be quoted publicly. Plus we all know this is the talk. You can’t walk through the capital without someone gossiping about Rounds v. Noem.

    2. anon

      I read a dozen stories on politico and RCP a day that have anonymous sources. If you want the goods it often has to be anonymous sources. I was having lunch with a friend and this is exactly what we were talking about also.

      Good to see someone covering what we are all talking about.

      Rounds would be tough. I too think he will be running. He’s to young to just walk away.

  2. springer

    I’d love to see Rounds in the Senate race. But I would not want a primary between Noem and Rounds. I think she would easily win again, and I think Rounds would probably easily win for the Senate. Then SD would have three Republicans representing our views which would be wonderful!

  3. anon

    I gotta believe it will be a long time before we see Stephanie run again. She’s making more money, and getting more time at home. Why would you want to jump back into that mess of being in Congress?

  4. springer

    Why would she want to jump back into Congress? It’s the power trip, and I think it affects just about all who get there with this disease. It gets in their blood and they love the feeling it gives.

  5. springer

    Hit the submit button too soon. Meant to add that this is exactly why we need term limits for Congress – both to protect them from this disease and to protect us from them!

  6. Charlie Hoffman

    Congress must be completely opposite the SD Legislature for I have never felt warm and fuzzy while being in session here in our state. Frustration maybe but an ego trip definitely not. This may just be a very good thing.

    On Governor Mike Rounds VS Kristi Noem in 2014 for Tim Johnson’s senate seat; either one wins the General election and both very capable. SD will be served well. 🙂

    1. Stace Nelson

      Frustration? I see your frustration & raise you bruises from a brick wall.. I feel your pain Rep. Hoffman.

      They must have forgot to deliver the warm & fuzzy to our little cubby hole mail boxes?


      1. Charlie Hoffman

        Frustrating as in dealing with the guy who wants to weaken our Common Law structure allowing anyone on private property with guns and ammo in their trunk superceding all common law ownership laws. Park it in the street and walk in or go buy your own private parking lot and drive around it all day long with whatever you want in your automobile. If they legalize pot the private business owner will then get sued by someone who isn’t allowed to bring their stash along onto the private parking lot. In the Godforsaken name of personal constitutional rights many bear false witness against the core of common law. And that is the private ownership of land and the owners right to manage it as deemed necessary and relevant. (There I feel much better now.) 🙂

        1. Stace Nelson

          Rep. Hoffman,
          This one is a tough one, store owner private property rights vice legal invitee’s private property & 2nd Amendment rights: http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2011/Bill.aspx?File=HB1204P.htm

          More frustrating was dealing with the guys who want to weaken our Consitution by allowing law enforcement to come onto private property with guns and ammo without probable cause/reasonable suspicion/or any law enforcement exigent circumstances, detain law abiding South Dakotans, question them as to their legal activities while enjoying the lawful enjoyment of their private property, and deprive them of that enjoyment & liberties on a fishing exhibition to see if they may have done something wrong, subverting the explicit limitations of government within our Constitution: http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2011/Bill.aspx?File=HB1178P.htm


          1. Charlie Hoffman

            Stace we will carry on this conversation starting around January 9th or 10 I would assume. Friday evening during my Highway Patrol ride along I watched a nurse stick a guy with a needle and draw out a measure of his blood. By signing his drivers license he consented to allowing it. Somewhere there is a connection between hunting and allowing for being checked. Open fields doctrine was put to the test last session and remains valid in my mind to ensure scab hunters do not ruin and destroy our very important natural resource of game animals. As in the right to drive on SD highways lessons your right to keep your blood if you are found to be intoxicated hunting on any land in SD lessons your right to do and shoot anything you may care to. We made the right decision on the floor and the public does too my friend. The right to swing my fist ends at the tip of your nose. And that is a damn good thing for me too! 🙂

            1. Stace Nelson

              Rep. Hoffman,

              I support the “Open Fields Doctrine” which dealt solely with evidence left in an open field & where law enforcement had information that a crime was occurred/ing, what we are talking about is not that.

              I will never support law enforcement stopping law abiding citizens on their private property, or on public property, to engage in a fishing exhibition. No hunting license is required on private property in many circumstances. Even if there was, there is no such implied consent on a public highway with a drivers license.

              Just because I lost the vote, does not mean I was wrong on the issue. 😀

              1. Les

                I would like to see something comparable to Montana’s castle doctrine. Our citizens should be able to defend themselves on private property.

                  1. Les

                    The way it was explained me to: Your property is your castle whether it is inside your home or out on the prairie. No more of the “”drag the body inside your house if you shoot an intruder attempting harm on you””. There are a few ugly cases of the landowner becoming the victim in SD for defending himself while on his own property.

      1. 73*

        As someone who was a very strong Noem supporter I will let you know that Noem is not a tea partier.

        Gordon Howie should run an challenge them both. HA! that gave me a chuckle!!!

  7. Mr. Obvious

    Is anyone else concerned that the Speaker’s Pet is already talking about a run for the senate (talk to folks in Castlewood; she is)? Not a good move to overlook the next game on the schedule to prepare for the Super Bowl.

  8. l. kurtz

    A former governor who built a new home on a river with a propensity for flooding and then blames the regular army for letting it flood? Rounds dragged the state to record ethics lows and routinely fought the tribes for federal funding is hardly qualified to represent a state that ranks 51st in every social category.

    One thing about Senator Johnson’s stroke: it prevents him from talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  9. Troy Jones

    Reality #1: Whether Mike Rounds has made the decision to run or not, his supporters who desire him to run will read every positive indication to that end.

    Reality #2: Whether Kristi Noem is even contemplating a Senate bid, her supporters who desire her to be in the Senate will discourage a Rounds bid even if they think she would beat him (they wouldn’t want the risk or expenditure of money for a primary).

    Reality #3: Whether Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin is even contemplating another race, her supporters will read and react to every piece of information to that end.

    Reality #4: Rounds, Noem, Herseth all know their desires might change in the future so everything they do and say will not close the door on any option. Nothing dishonest at all from any of them.

    REALITY #5: The election of 2012 is a long way off with regard to Herseth. The election of 2014 is an eternity. While speculation is fun for us all, it is just that-speculation because I’m doubtful anyone talking can peer into the heart of any of the three and future circumstances can change such that even what one might see today might change in the future.

  10. dissident

    A former governor who built a new home on a river with a propensity for flooding and then blames the regular army for letting it flood? As a governor who dragged the state to record ethics lows and routinely fought the tribes for federal funding; he is hardly qualified to represent a state that ranks 51st in every social category.

    One thing about Senator Johnson?s stroke: it prevents him from talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  11. Anonymous


    You’re right about everything but 2014 being an eternity. No one has to make any concrete committments now but you know as well as I do that politics requires a lot of jockying and stregy behind the scenes.

    People are preparing for a Rounds senate run as we speak. Maybe he scraps it and doesn’t run but we all know the odds of a politician choosing not to run for any reason other than that they have 0 chance is very unlikely.

    So a senate race is probably less than 1 year away. When 2012 ends Rounds or Noem will announce for Senate. It won’t be 2014 when they announce.

  12. Duh

    When Noem wins a second term, she’s a lock on the Senate seat and Smile’n Mike should resort to focusing on the house seat and not screw everything up. Likability and accomplishments when referring to Rounds is not equated. Rounds was likeable because he didn’t make any tough decisions and didn’t piss anyone off. Like speed’n Janklow or not, he would make decisions every day that dwarfed Round’s mindset. Rounds was a very average Governor as far as I’m concerned. 8 deficits in a row, no stance on anything (other than freebies like right to life decisions, income taxes, etc.). Conservative? On some things, yes. On some things, no.

    1. Anonymous

      Average is how most politicians stay elected.

      Rounds runs Herseth doesn’t.

      Noem runs Herseth does.

      It’s that simple. Rounds is the strongest candidate we have. It isn’t even close.

      Noem is not the conservative darling you make her out to be either Duh.

      Both will vote right 80% of the time. It’s a win either way.

      But I don’t want to see a primary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just so they can see who has a bigger ego.

      1. Epistemology

        Wait a minute.. I am all for a little normative give and take.. But Johnson seems to be the only one accomplishing anything. Passed the Military Contsruction and VA Approps bill last July.. Unanimous Consent.. Only aprorpriations bill this congress.. Bet our friends at Ellesworth, Areostar and that shiny new facility in Watertown are happy about that! 🙂

    1. MacGregor

      You’ve got that right Tim. Not many west river Republicans would vote for Rounds for anything unless he was the only choice against Johnson. There is very little difference between the two.

  13. Aberdeen

    I would rather have seen Rounds run against Johnson. By not having that seat cost America, only time will tell if we can overcome all the damage Obama, Pelosi and Ried caused. I agree with Troy 2014 is an eternity away.

    Everyone is speculating on who is running, don’t forget that Minny Tim is planning to run for something. DC resident Herseth/Sandlin is done with SD politics, if she runs for any office it will be back East.

    Two of my favorite SD legislators are Stace Nelson and Charlie Hoffman. I bet that we will see them run for another office sometime in the future.

    1. Charlie Hoffman

      We are both honest to the point of hurting ourselves. Thank you for the kind words. South Dakota is a fantastic place to live, work and raise a family. 🙂

    2. Stace Nelson

      thank you for your kind words!

      Rep. Hoffman is a good man and a joy to work with. As most friends, we don’t always agree on everything; however, that only adds to the enjoyment of conversations with him. 😀

      I will run for the legislature again; however, short of that, I will only be running to the CASA office in Mitchell, to which I am already late for their open house! 😀

  14. loidering

    Shows Rounds isn’t a career pol. He would be a great senator. Noem is fine also but does she have the experience? Rounds was also very popular.

    I disagree that 2014 is far away. It’s very close.

    Rounds would squash Johnson and Herseth-Sandlin. Noem would have a race on her hands.

  15. Duh

    Rounds NOT a career politician? How long has he been in government in Pierre (legislature/governor)? A lot longer than you let out.

    We’ll see in 2014. That’s a lot of limelight for Noem til then and a lot of selling insurance for Rounds til then. The memory of the populous is akin to an alhzeimer’s patient.

    1. Les

      I’m betting Mike would cake walk any election in 12 and barring some futuristic save the nation move my Noem he has the senate in 14 Duh. What he doesn’t have and won’t have will be all the stuff on him like KN and the rest of DC will be wearing by then.

  16. HelpmeIamfalling

    Do they really want the job???

    Isn?t the English language enlightening?

    Did you know?
    The English language has some wonderfully anthropomorphic collective nouns for the various groups of animals.
    We are all familiar with a Herd of cows, a Flock of chickens, a School of fish and a Gaggle of geese.
    However, less widely known is a Pride of lions, a Murder of crows (as well as their cousins the
    rooks and ravens), an Exaltation of doves and, presumably because they look so wise, a Parliament of owls.
    Now consider a group of Baboons. They are the loudest, most dangerous, most obnoxious, most viciously aggressive and least intelligent of all primates. And what is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons?

    Believe it or not ……. a Congress!
    I guess that pretty much explains the things that come out of Washington!

  17. The Truth

    Rounds is our best candidate against Johnson.

    In the meantime, geez…..Kristi is doing well in the House. Republicans (and Kristi) need to focus on keeping the House seat. That’s it.

  18. motoring

    Herseth-Sandlin wouldn’t run if rounds runs. You know it I know it and the American people know it.

    Noem has been ok as thune’s puppet but Herseth-Sandlin is chomping at the bit to challenge noem. At best its 50/50 for noem against SHS.

    1. Aberdeen

      Motoring I disagree with you on Noem vs SHS. Thune had more votes than Wieland in the first round, the second round Thune won huge. SHS will not come back to SD. Noem would crush her in a rematch.

  19. Anonymous

    Noem has an ego. She runs against Rounds if Lauck along with thune’s staff ncourages it. It was one thing for noem to run against nelson in order to run against Herseth-Sandlin but totally different to run against mike just cause the ego makes her think she deserves it.

    I vote rounds. And yes I support Bachmann for president.

  20. Anonymous

    Tim will retire undefeated , had the republicans a better canidate than Dykstra they would have won, and run a better campaign.

    1. springer

      I doubt that the Reps could have won no matter who they ran that year. Johnson had the sympathy vote, and woe to anyone who criticized him for anything. He would not and could not campaign. With all that against any opponent, no one could have won IMO. And with that and the 60th senate seat, we now have Obamacare, and Obama everything else.k Pathetic.

  21. old guy

    I was sure he would run but I wonder if he isn’t enjoying just being Mike the grandpa, dad, husband, and CEO of Fisher Rounds so maybe a change of mind?


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