OUR VIEW: Democrats failing to generate buzz about their raceIn just a few weeks, two Democratic candidates will face each other in a primary to see who gets to run against incumbent Republican Kristi Noem for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Do you know the names of those two Democrats?
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Where are the Democrats this election season? We admit it right up front: We aren’t the first to come up with this question. At least one other newspaper in the state has asked it, and so have those pundits who make up the online blogosphere.
But really, where are the Democrats? In just a few weeks, two Democratic candidates will face each other in a primary to see who gets to run against incumbent Republican Kristi Noem for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Without looking ahead an inch or two in this column, we ask readers: Do you know the names of those two Democrats?
For true politicos, it’s not a difficult answer. As for the rest of us, it’s not so easy.
Here’s the answer: Jeff Barth and Matt Varilek will be on the June 5 ballot in the Democratic primary.
Varilek and Barth. Remember those names, because unless some waves are created in these final days before the election, you may not be hearing much about them.
The Democratic Party in South Dakota is getting a reputation for lackluster results in statewide elections, and this primary doesn’t do much to dispel that notion.
Here’s some history: In 2006, no Democrats ran for the state offices of auditor, treasurer and secretary of state.
Two years ago, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, a top Democrat in the state, was defeated for a House seat by Noem, who shot onto the scene with much fanfare and public awareness.
At the same time, no Democrat stepped forward to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. John Thune.
Here is a question we have asked several times before: How can a healthy political party fail to field a candidate for the U.S. Senate?
Once again, the answer is thus: A healthy party wouldn’t.
Now Varilek and Barth are running quiet campaigns without gaining much attention for themselves.
We don’t know much about political campaigns, but we do know a thing or two about marketing.
Name recognition sells. So does loudly touting your product. Repetition doesn’t hurt, either.
We aren’t endorsing either candidate, and it’s much too early for us to hint at an endorsement for November’s general election.
We just want South Dakotans to have great choices on both sides of the political aisle.
Barth and Varilek would be wise to make some waves and bring attention to themselves so South Dakota Democrats have a better idea of what they’re voting for or against.