Back towards the end of November in 2012, just after Thanksgiving, Former Governor Mike Rounds officially announced that he would be a candidate for the US Senate in 2014.
Former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds announced plans Thursday to seek South Dakota’s U.S. Senate seat, setting up a 2014 battle between two men who have never lost an election – a campaign that figures to draw widespread national attention as Republicans and Democrats jockey for control of the chamber.
It didn’t come as a huge shock, as Rounds had made an earlier announcement of it at a Lincoln Day Dinner in October, but it licked off the campaign and Rounds started raising money and campaigning in earnest.
Fast forward a couple of years, and we’re literally at that same point at the end of the 2016 cycle.
So, after the election, will we see Marty Jackley schedule a visit with the Sioux Falls media? Will Mark Mickelson announce a press conference?
And what about Kristi Noem?
Noem is arguably the key driver in how 2018 will play out. If and when she jumps in for Governor, it sets the table for her successors to start showing their cards. If she decides to stay in Congress, it may be a largely mano a mano contest for Governor. The outcome of tomorrow’s election will probably be the deciding factor in whether she chooses to stay in Congress, or run to be South Dakota’s next Republican Governor.
And once that decision is made, we still may not hear for several months.
It could be a wild ride over the next six months as to which candidates will and which won’t on the Republican side. We may see Mike Huether run on the Dem side, derided as a DINO, facing a far more liberal candidate.
And if there is a congressional opening, get ready for the real free-for-all.