Top Political Stories of 2019:  #9 – State Rep. Scyller Borglum rolls the dice in challenger campaign against US Senator Mike Rounds.

Top Political Stories of 2019:  #9 – State Rep. Scyller Borglum rolls the dice in challenger campaign against US Senator Mike Rounds.

Shortly after the start of 2019, the rumor mill started dropping nuggets out there that State Representative Scyller Borglum might privately expressing an interest in something…. more. Something involving an office higher than she already had.   And nobody really knew what.

They knew she had someone working with her on media.. but what else was percolating?

Was she going to run against the State Senator in her District – Alan Solano – in the next election? Was she looking at a statewide office in 2022? There was even a little talk of her running for US Senate… but that seemed unlikely, because in South Dakota, no one in recent memory has ever has ran a primary challenge against an incumbent federal elected official. Not since Republican Mike DeMersseman challenged Congressman Jim Abdnor in the Republican Primary for the Second District Congressional seat in 1972 – which was so long ago that we had two Congressional Districts.

It was enough that people were paying attention to every announcement that Borglum would make.

The background rumors rose to a crescendo when a March meeting took place between Congressman Dusty Johnson and State Representative Borglum, where the two have decidedly different opinions of the discussion that took place.

A press release went out from Borglum with some fairly incendiary language going after Congressman Dusty Johnson for asking about rumors of her running against US Senator Mike Rounds, accusing Johnson of a “DC-style ambush.”  Congressman Johnson disagreed and noted that “He thought the meeting went well,” until “he saw the Monday news release.”

From that late April incident through May, it was ever more apparent that there was a challenger campaign that appeared to be in motion.  By early June, it appeared that someone was out buying up Borglum related domains.  And we started hearing more about Borglum entering a race for Senate.  And by the start of the next campaign finance reporting period, there was no doubt that  the race was on with campaign invites blasting across Facebook.  Since that time, Borglum has been pursuing the race against incumbent US Senator Mike Rounds.

For his part, Rounds has been devoting his time to his US Senate duties, and equally devoting his time to his wife, former first Lady Jean Rounds, who had taken ill from a form of cancer, and had been treating at Mayo Clinic.  Rounds seemingly has been in no hurry to announce.  If anything, Rounds has been running under the radar on the campaign side, but when campaign activity does pop up, it’s obvious the campaign is afoot, as he’s posting impressive quarterly fundraising numbers, and had strong events.

Since announcing, Borglum has been criss-crossing the state as she’s been grinding out campaign appearances supported by friends and family serving as her campaign team.   Rounds has campaign staff already in place, and is expected to make an official announcement soon, but from all indications, he’s in. It’s just a matter of when he feels the need to pull the trigger.

Starting January 1 candidates will be in the next critical phase of the campaign, when they collect signatures to be placed on the ballot, while they also have to contend with legislative duties; with Borglum in Pierre, and Rounds in DC.

There’s much more to come on this story.. and we’ll be watching it unfold in the coming months.

21 thoughts on “Top Political Stories of 2019:  #9 – State Rep. Scyller Borglum rolls the dice in challenger campaign against US Senator Mike Rounds.”

  1. I met Ms. Borglum at a city council meeting earlier this month. She seems nice, but I can’t say that I feel confident she understands and will do the right thing regarding my wheel house, Internet technologies. Anybody have a hot take on Rounds’ disposition with respect to Internet technologies? I hope he’s not just another Thune (breast, brain, heart, bowel cancer be-damned, Ima git me mine on this here Cisco stock).

  2. Specifically, 5G technologies? Does Rounds have a position on this that is backed-up by non-industry funded science (Thune’s last statement on 5G included a scientist who worked for a technology industry group, and therefore has little credibility since we know from that fantastical The Nation article demonstrating how the industry funds oppo research, punishes negative results, until there is around 50% favorable results in the general pool of wireless studies).

  3. She hasn’t even made noise since getting in and Rounds has still not announced.

    She is not news.

  4. NOBODY is taking Borglum seriously and I don’t blame them…and her tight white campaign shirt isn’t helping. She is an out-of-stater who moved to SD less than 4 years ago to go to college…, married her professor within a few months of graduating, got appointed to the legislature and now wants to fulfill her high school dream of becoming a US Senator. Her voting record is one of the most liberal of all legislators yet she is trying to be a conservative now in an effort to con the voters.

    1. Wow nice attack, is that Jason Glodt at work? Nobody really cares about your pathetic “Distraction” arguments. She could be in a coma and accomplish more than Rounds has, he wasted his time as Governor with nothing to show, and he has wasted our time as our senator. I hope she kicks the crap out of Rounds and we get someone with enough ambition to do more than breath.

    2. Wow Deb. As a female Republican, I find your comments highly objectionable.Sounds like you are jealous?

      And by the way, I’ve never met Borglum and have no idea what her platform is. But if you are going to vote against her, at least do it based on her politics, not on any of the sexist garbage you spewed out above.

    3. You’re posting about believing her shirt is tight? I’m just going to say stop NOW with the misogyny, and comments about her clothing or relationship with her husband, or you’re going to find yourself banned. I won’t allow comments of that nature whether they’re made about Senator Rounds, Rep Borglum, or anyone.

      What do you think this is, Dakota Free Press?

      1. I’ve met Representative Borglum at numerous events. Although she has the right to dress as she likes, I’ve never seen her inappropriately or provocatively garbed. She’s friendly, courteous, engaging, personable, and smart. I’ve met her husband, the professor. He seems a great guy. I don’t give a flip about their age difference. If Borglum had opted to run for re-election, I’d have supported her. Given that Senator Solano resigned, if Borglum had run for the state senate, I’d have been supportive. IMHO, she should have waited longer (lived in SD longer) before seeking the highest office available, and I wish she’d been honest about her plans. I recognize she isn’t the only disingenuous politician in America — and she’s far from the worst – but I’d have appreciated a frank answer. Some believe running & losing builds a political brand. Maybe. I admit it works on occasion, but I suspect it’ll prove a strategic error in this case.

  5. What are Rounds’ accomplishments…asking for a friend who thought he said he was going to get rid of the dept of education

  6. She and Stace are two peas in a pod. Both very impressed with themselves but utterly worthless as legislators. Both living in a fantasy world where they think they have a huge following of adoring fans who hang on their every word. Both are convinced they are right and everyone else is either ignorant or evil. Pat: neither are worth your time or blog space.

    1. Why get rid of the Dept. of Ed when you can just fire all the administrators, triple teacher salaries, convert schools into prisons or community centers (Architecturally, they’ll accommodate both), train-up teachers to do 100% in-home visits, pay the parents the 10k/year/child (or more), and retain what made America great (parents raising their own f-ing kids on family farms).

      Have a GREAT DAY!

  7. Wow, so now she’s Stace Nelson? What a bunch of arrogant asses you are, Rounds is a do-nothing political hack. If you’ve ever met her you’d know she is anything but “impressed with herself” she wants to do good things for S.D., and considering Mikes absolute blank list of accomplishments maybe it’s time to give someone else a try, sure as heck can’t do less than he has!

    1. No opinion on most of your comments, but sure I agree Rounds is a “do nothing/accomplish nothing” Senator!

  8. H. Luthy, T. Malone aka Scyller… has proven she is a wolf in sheep’s clothing with her appalling liberal voting record.

    1. I’m sure he will. But, it’s a good strategy to wait. He’ll get a press bump when he does.

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