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Former Sen. Pressler applauds Johnson's courage

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- A former U.S. senator whose 22-year congressional career ended in 1996 when he was defeated by Democrat Tim Johnson says Johnson's decision to continue to serve despite medical difficulties made him a figure of national courage.

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Johnson announced Tuesday that he would not seek a fourth term.

Republican Larry Pressler says Johnson served the state with great courage. Pressler says Johnson's work on the Appropriations Committee made a huge difference for South Dakota on water and education projects and Native American issues.

Despite the party difference, Pressler endorsed Johnson in 2008 in his bid to hold his seat against challenger Joel Dykstra. Pressler says he made the endorsement based on his childhood stuttering memories of how hard it is when you have something to say but can't easily speak out.

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