Daugaard backs Rounds as GOP Senate hopeful in ’14'I don’t think this should be a surprise,' says gov.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he supports his predecessor as the Republican candidate for Senate in 2014.
“I would back Mike Rounds,” Daugaard said. “He has been a good partner. I don’t think this should be a surprise.”
Rounds, who served as governor from 2003 to 2011, with Daugaard as his lieutenant governor, announced last fall he will run for the Republican nomination for Senate.
The seat is currently held by three-term Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat. Johnson, 66, has not announced if he will run for a fourth term, but has said he will make a public statement on his political future this month.
If he does not run, his son, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, and former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin are viewed as possible candidates for the Senate seat.
Another Republican, Rep. Kristi Noem, has said she is considering a run for the Senate seat. Noem has yet to announce when she will decide if she will run for the Senate, or seek a third term in the House.
Daugaard said he would not offer Noem any campaign advice.
“That’s up to her to decide,” he said.
Daugaard, who turns 60 in June, said he is strongly leaning toward running for a second four-year term in 2014.
The governor said all steps to prepare for a re-election campaign are under way.
But he said there is a chance he could decide to bow out.
“I love the job most days,” Daugaard said.