With the election of the Senate’s new leadership team, and as the House’s caucus elections approach, there’s some inside baseball occurring in the background. And a lot of it has some relation to Rapid City politics – both long running factional goofiness and what took place in this last election.
For the more recent, focus on the postcard where four sitting Republicans endorsed independent Brian Gentry over the Republican Jessica Castleberry in the General Election District 35 Senate Race. For many Republicans, especially legislators, that was particularly egregious.
In the Senate, while they were delivering checks for caucus support for both Julie Frye-Mueller and Jessica Castleberry, JFM turns around and attacks Castleberry by endorsing Jessica’s opponent. That’s a huge no-no.
In the primary, support who you want. There might be some hurt feelings and potential repercussions, but it is generally considered to be “a family dispute.” But in the general, if you’re a Republican candidate, and you’re off supporting Democrats or Independents, or whatever… well, that’s going to come back and bite you in the rear.
Senator-elect Julie Frye Mueller crossed party lines and supported the opponent of one of her now fellow caucus members at the same time she was trying to put out her own fire when people were being encouraged to cross party lines to support her own opponent, Libertarian & former Republican Gideon Oakes.
Julie groused about the possibility of people going over party lines. But the difference is that while Julie crossed the line in D35, people didn’t do it in her race. In other words, it was a whole lot of “do as I say, not as I do.”
Expect that there will be repercussions for Frye-Mueller, because at the least, she’s proven herself to be a quisling. And really, why would Senator Castleberry feel comfortable talking strategy at a table with someone who just finished endorsing her opponent?
But it doesn’t end there. Because there’s three others who crossed party lines in the general election, and they’re in the House. And there’s a whole lot more going on there.
(That’s coming in part 2)