STAFF BLOG REPUBLIC INSIDER GOP battle intensifies
With five days to go until the Republican gubernatorial primary, the five candidates are getting a little sharper with their comments.
Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard and state Senate Republican Leader Dave ... Posted on 6/4/10 at 11:17 AM
PIERRE — The five Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for governor differed during a televised Thursday night forum on how to balance the state budget, boost the economy and bring more jobs to South Dakota.
Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard of Garretson, Senate Republican Leader Dave Knudson of Sioux Falls, Sen. Gordon Howie of Rapid City, former Brookings Mayor Scott Munsterman and Buffalo Gap rancher Ken Knuppe answered questions in an hour-long forum broadcast statewide by KELO TV.
Republican governor candidate Dave Knudson is trying to convince South Dakotans that they have problems and that he’s the man to fix them, but he’s having trouble finding voters who are interested in the race.
Knudson, who calls himself “Mr. Fix It” in his campaign advertisements, met with The Daily Republic’s editorial board Thursday. He said many people “have a skepticism” about politics that causes them to question whether “it’s actually worth the value to engage” in a campaign.
PIERRE — All five Republicans seeking to be South Dakota’s next governor want to improve schools, boost economic development, limit government, avoid tax increases and balance the state budget.
And of course, they support ethanol production, wind energy, farming and ranching.
So how are Republican voters supposed to decide in the June 8 primary, when the party picks its candidate for the fall election?
PIERRE — Senate Republican Leader Dave Knudson turned up the heat in the Republican gubernatorial primary race Wednesday, saying Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard is wrong to argue that South Dakota has no budget crisis.
Knudson took issue with an April 14 fundraising letter in which Daugaard noted the governor and Republican legislative leaders balanced the budget for next year without raising taxes or using reserve funds. He wrote “there is NO ‘budget crisis’ in South Dakota.”
Commenting Thursday evening on the field of Republican candidates seeking to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson said, “Somewhere there’s a meeting of the Democratic National Committee, and they are very nervous.”
Johnson’s quip followed comments from candidates Chris Nelson, Kristi Noem and Blake Curd to about 160 GOP faithful who attended the Davison Hanson County Lincoln Day Dinner at the County Fair Banquet Hall in Mitchell.
SIOUX FALLS — South Dakota’s six gubernatorial candidates discussed job creation, fiscal responsibility and reduced regulation during an economic development forum Wednesday in Sioux Falls.
The forum was part of the annual Governor’s Conference on Economic Development.
Gov. Mike Rounds cannot seek reelection because of term limits, leaving a field of five Republicans and one Democrat vying for the state’s top job.
PIERRE — In the final hours of the 2010 session, the Legislature balanced state government’s budget for 2011 on Tuesday night without taking any money from reserves and without making across-the-board cuts.
Bringing the $1,159,440,356 general fund budget into line during a recession was accomplished instead through a combination of $23 million of targeted cuts and smaller tax breaks for big business.
Republican Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard now holds a 17-point lead over likely Democratic nominee Scott Heidepriem in South Dakota’s race for governor. But the Democrat maintains modest leads over two other GOP hopefuls.
Results of a poll about the South Dakota gubernatorial candidates show the race to be “wide open,” according to the firm that conducted the poll.
The poll, released Friday by Rasmussen Reports, shows Republican Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard, of Garretson, garnering the most support. But even he failed to reach the 50 percent threshold.
PIERRE — State legislators are scheduled to consider a bill today that seeks to clarify which government committees are required to open their meetings to the public.
Currently, committees, boards and task forces of state and local governments operate in something of a gray area. State law addresses the issue, but not clearly enough to prevent disagreements about which committees are required to open their meetings and which are not.
Dave Knudson has no doubt about the most important task facing the next governor of South Dakota.
“I think the next governor is going to have to be more deeply involved in economic development than any of the prior governors that we’ve seen,” he said during a recent conversation with The Daily Republic.
PIERRE — Jim Hagen will start in mid-November as campaign manager for Senate Republican leader Dave Knudson, one of the four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor in the June 2010 primary.
PIERRE — Despite warnings that the full Legislature will never pass such a large tax increase in an economic slump, a South Dakota legislative committee Wednesday recommended a substantial boost in taxes used to build and maintain state and local roads.
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