I’ll give the Democrats credit for at least putting candidates on the ballot. They haven’t always been good at filling slots, and they can’t win if they don’t try. Unfortunately, what chance do they really have to win a statewide race?
Mercer has an interesting post about Nick Nemec and the PUC race here:
Nemec, 53, received the nomination for a Public Utilities Commission seat during this weekend?s South Dakota Democratic state convention. He?ll be paired against Republican Chris Nelson, the former two-term secretary of state and unsuccessful 2010 candidate for the Republican U.S. House nomination. Nelson was appointed to the PUC a year ago by new Gov. Dennis Daugaard when Dusty Johnson abdicated the PUC seat to which he was just re-elected so that Johnson could become Daugaard?s chief of staff. Nelson and Nemec will be running for the remaining four years of the Johnson six-year term on the commission.
Democrats also gave our favorite name changer, Matt McGovern-Rowen, the other PUC nomination to run against Kristie Fiegen.
Democrats have struggled to win statewide offices in Pierre for several years. And with President Obama tied around their necks dragging the Democratic Party down to new depths in red leaning states, why would anything be different than 2010?
Here are the 2010 statewide races:
Secretary of State REP Jason Gant 163828 54.17% Secretary of State DEM Ben Nesselhuf 118635 39.23% Secretary of State CON Lori Stacey 19971 6.60% Attorney General REP Marty Jackley 202499 66.90% Attorney General DEM Ron Volesky 100182 33.10% State Auditor REP Steve Barnett 181975 60.82% State Auditor DEM Julie Bartling 117218 39.18% State Treasurer REP Rich Sattgast 191408 65.25% State Treasurer DEM Tom Katus 101924 34.75% Commissioner of School and Public Lands REP Jarrod Johnson 188985 66.49% Commissioner of School and Public Lands DEM Bob Pille 95244 33.51% Public Utilities Commissioner REP Dustin “Dusty” Johnson 217346 73.21% Public Utilities Commissioner DEM Doyle Karpen 79543 26.79%
In 2008, even with the Democratic national wave, Gary Hanson defeated Matt McLarty with nearly 65% of the vote to win reelection to the PUC, in 2006 during the cycle in which Democrats reclaimed the US Congress and swept Nancy Pelosi into the speakership, Jarrod Johnson defeated incumbent Dem Bryce Healy in a very close election for Public Lands, and in 2004 Dusty Johnson started the trend by trouncing longtime incumbent Dem Jim Burg. Things have only been getting worse for the SDDP in these races, not better.