Just over 60 days out, March 29th is a big day coming up in the South Dakota political world. This is the deadline under which partisan political candidates are operating to turn in petitions for office. It’s a scramble that’s begun in pursuit of the highest offices in the state where many are collecting petition signatures.
But for two of the highest offices, Congress and Governor, there is nothing but an endless void. Democrats have yet to announce a candidate, and they are literally running out of time for their people to collect the nearly 1800 signatures needed to place their person on the ballot:
Signature Requirements for Statewide Offices on Petitions Filed for the 2022 Election
U.S. SENATOR, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE & GOVERNOR
Republican: 1,730 signatures (1% of the vote for the 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate – 172,912)
Democrat: 1,615 signatures (1% of the vote for the 2018 democratic gubernatorial candidate – 161,454)
Libertarian: 50 signatures
Independent: 3,393 signatures (1% of the total vote for governor in 2018 – 339,214)
New Political Party: 250
Read that here.
As the calendar pages turn, lacking a person willing to run for office on the Democrat ticket, it makes it far more challenging to organize volunteers to get out to collect signatures.
Remember last election when they had two congressional hopefuls? They had willing and running candidates much earlier in the process, and they still lacked the ability to collect the signatures to get on the ballot. Now with the time to collect 1/3 of the way gone, even if they can find someone, it’s just that much more challenging to get the job done.
This means that Congressman Dusty Johnson could get a historic second bye in the race for Congress, once he handily disposes of Taffy Howard in the primary. And even more shockingly, Democrats seem currently on track to give Republican Governor Kristi Noem an unobstructed path to a second term as Governor, once she bypasses the Haugaard for Governor primary campaign.
If Democrats did not have former Independent Brian Bengs switch parties to run as a Democrat, they would likely be including US Senate in the number of top of the ticket races they’re seemingly abandoning for lack of a candidate.
The clock is ticking. And for Democrats, time is nearly up.