RCJ: Ultra-Conservatives take a hard hit in Tuesday’s elections. Have the throwaway attacks run thin?

From the Rapid City Journal, Seth Tupper noticed something i was tracking, that the ultra-conservative wing of the GOP (The one that calls everyone else RINO’s) didn’t fare all that well in Tuesday’s elections:

Generally speaking, challengers from the ultra-conservative camp fared poorly, while incumbents — other than Ferebee — fared better.

Among the incumbent ultra-conservatives who won their races or finished high enough to advance to the general election were Lynne DiSanto in the District 35 state Senate Republican primary, Phil Jensen in the District 33 Senate Republican primary, Taffy Howard in the District 33 House Republican primary, and Lance Russell in the District 30 Republican Senate primary.


Losing challengers from the ultra-conservative camp — who either self-identify that way or have been described that way by others — included Ed Randazzo in the District 32 Republican House primary, Janette McIntyre in the District 34 Republican House primary, James Bialota Jr. in the Republican primary for Pennington County auditor, Rick Kriebel in the Republican primary for District 3 Pennington County commissioner, and Jodie Frye in the Republican primary for District 5 Pennington County commissioner.

Read it all here.

And it wasn’t just in the Rapid City area.  This seemed to be taking place statewide.

In District 9 State Senate, Lora Hubbel was beaten 62-38%.

In District 14, a District where State Senator Stace Nelson directly campaigned against Deb Soholt, and for his attorney Shawn Tornow, while Soholt pushed back challenger Tyler Swanger 62% – 38%, Tom Holmes and Larry Zikmund handily beat Shawn Tornow 33% & 44% to 23%.

And another Nelson surrogate fell in D19. Challenger Michael Boyle fell to incumbents Kyle Schoenfish and Kent Peterson (41% & 30% to 28%).

In District 25, Dale Barnhart was beaten by Senator Kris Langer 65% to 35%, and in District 29, Gary Cammack defeated Bill Kluck 51-49%.

And in Brown County, hard-right challenger for sheriff Dan Kaiser attempted to paint his opponent Mark Milbrandt as a hard-left liberal through a series of mailers, some done through him, some done through PACs & groups supporting him. But he fell even shorter than some, 34% to 66%.

Incumbent legislators tended to be allowed to remain, but challengers found little purchase among the GOP electorate, and seemed to either ignore, or be turned off by the barrage of cheap negative postcards that popped up in these down ticket races.

Are the GOP voters just not swayed, and have grown numb to unsupported, throwaway attacks at this point?

21 thoughts on “RCJ: Ultra-Conservatives take a hard hit in Tuesday’s elections. Have the throwaway attacks run thin?”

    1. Dennert was repudiated in the sheriffs race. He is now on an island without Kaiser.

      Dennert has been waging war against the party leaders in Brown county behind the scenes for several years.

      It might be time to put him and his supporters in their place.

      1. Just like Kaiser, once Dennert actually has a viable Republican challenge him, he will lose yuge. It’s that simple.

  1. The simple answer is YES.

    I am sick and tired of everyone who doesn’t join their group not being conservative enough….

    They skew and cherry pick the votes to make their select people the “true conservatives” when they act anything like a conservative.

    1. How do we vote out Stace as he is one of the worst who attacks everyone that doesn’t agree with his thoughts?

      1. The 2 candidates slated for the District 19 Senate race are:
        Stace Nelson REP
        Ardon Wek DEM

        1. Ardon Wek is a fairly moderate Democrat so would you even consider throwing your support behind Ardon to finally send that broken down MARINE being the only self described true conservative in the legislature out to pasture once and for all? Yep! I know…support a moderate Democrat? Gasp!

          Next cycle run a Republican to knock off Ardon Wek.

  2. Not just west river either….

    Kaiser LOST
    Swanger LOST
    Tornow LOST
    Ferebee LOST
    McIntyre LOST
    Kriebel LOST
    Boyle LOST
    Kluck LOST

  3. That Americans First Task Force in Aberdeen lost more credibility and support. When they went after Milbrandt using SDGO with all their lies it backfired big time!

  4. It could be just a matter of qualifications. In Pennington County: McIntyre, Bialota,
    Kriebel, and Frye are simply not qualified to do anything but rant; and the voters finally figured out that the same is true of Ferebee.

    1. It does seem to be musical chairs with these folks…pick a new office and run for it and lose.

    2. In Rapid, I thought McIntyre would run stronger being her 2nd time around. But now with 2 house seats, one open, and one with an appointee.. she still fell short. In 2016, she received 1496 votes against Partridge in a 2 way race, and Tuesday in a 3-way contest, she received 1488.

    3. I would agree they are all qualified to be candidates, and hence disagree with Wayne on that. Now are they electable? that is a different story….

      Vitriol and screaming your opponent is not qualified or is a liar or dishonest does not sell with me…tell me your solutions and why YOU are the better candidate.

      I do prefer candidates that work in the private sector though, vs career politicians though.

  5. Hopefully his is a trend that continues. These guys are fueled by opposition to the “establishment” which really means any authority. For years it was opposition to Obama and then Hillary, but now they have Trump. They also hate Daugaard but it will take them a year or two to get ginned up against Noem (it will happen though). At some point irrational anger just doesn’t sell.

  6. I am not sure why Deb Soholt is lumped into this group. She needed $30k to win against a poorly funded primary challenger. I think the lesson learned here is that we need to start earlier in unseating a pro-abortion senator sitting on a pile of cash. Every other incumbent that won had sterling pro-life records.

    1. She’s lumped into the group because she was challenged from the right and she won.

  7. this state has proven over and over, that when anyone makes presumptions about the extent of voters’ willingness to rally around dogmatic knee-jerk conservatism, those presumptions never pan out. south dakotans have a deep personal conservatism, and a mistrust of politicians who want to make that conservatism a statewide law.

  8. Having the super majority in both chambers, it would only ‘help’ the integrity of the SD Legislature get rid of Stace Nelson and Elizabeth May. Hopefully, there are some good people in their districts to mount a hard campaign against them. Nelson may as well be a democrat the way he attacks and infights with republicans. No democrat serving in the legislature is near the trouble he is for republicans & for the whole SD law making process.

    1. Stace Nelson is NOT a former Democrat…he is a current Democrat operative, get it right!

  9. I’m not sure why someone is trying to use a proxy server/dark web TOR node to post here, but their use is long banned, and is noted in the rules.

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