In the South Dakota U.S. House race, Independent B. Thomas Marking got 5.99% of the vote. That 5.99% of the vote had little to do with Mr. Marking's qualities as a person or candidate. Lori Stacey, Constitution Party candidate for Secretary of State, nuttiest person on the statewide ballot, got 6.60% of the vote. 832 votes more than Marking.
B. Thomas Marking didn't say much, but what policies and positions he did advocate were debatable yet reasonable. Lori Stacey spouted conspiracy theories and baseless threats and dwelt on minutiae of word choice as only a desperate paranoiac fringe candidate can. Her campaign finances were laughable even compared to Marking's paltry sums.
Yet she got more protest votes than B. Thomas Marking, who got to play referee (a good role for Indies—keep that in mind for future elections!) between Kristi Noem and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in the marquee race of 2010.
Maybe worth noting: Marking's third-best showing came in Hamlin County, Kristi Noem's home turf. Noem's own neighbors were among the folks most willing to vote for the third man. He drew 8.32% in Noem's backyard, even better than the 7.89% he pulled in his home county of Custer. Marking had his 17th-best showing in Brookings County, Herseth Sandlin's current home county. He bombed in Herseth country up north, Brown County, where he got only 4.59% of the vote.
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