The well-connected South Dakota War College scoops everybody but the folks at dinner in Lawrence County last night, where Secretary of State Chris Nelson told Lincoln Day diners (and donors) that he's exploring a run for South Dakota's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
My first impression is that a lot of Republicans just said, "Hallelujah!" and "Pass the hat!" (Chris! Better reactivate that "Donate" link on your webpage!)
If our current Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin chooses to run for reëlection, there are two kinds of Republicans who can beat her: a big Bill Janklow brawler, or someone who can go toe-to-toe with SHS on nice. Secretary Nelson is the latter. He's a darn good public official who has interacted with probably every local party official in the state (that's where some of that name recognition Pat Powers mentions comes from). By every appearance, he's run a tight and honest ship in Pierre.
And as far as I know, Nelson has never engaged in the partisan yahoo-lery that has made previous GOP Congressional contenders like Joel Dykstra and Bruce Whalen such easy targets. Nelson hasn't even triggered my Chamber of Commerce crony-capitalism alarm. He's even been on top of moving campaign finance and election records online. How am I supposed to find good blog tomatoes to throw at a guy who gives us those awesome election night online maps?
Again, there's plenty of time. Secretary Nelson, have fun exploring. Let's hope he can energize the base without turning into Sibby or Allen Unruh.
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