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Former USD law professor Myers to run for governor

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A former University of South Dakota law professor has announced plans to run for governor as an independent candidate.

The Argus Leader reported 77-year-old Mike Myers announced his bid on Friday.

Myers taught health care law and elder law at USD for 23 years. He also served as the chief executive officer of Mayo-St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn., and an executive with other hospitals.

He said that health care and criticism of "corporate medicine" will be the crux of his campaign.

As an independent candidate, Myers would need to collect 3,171 signatures of registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

Myers is the first candidate to enter the race, but Gov. Dennis Daugaard is expected to seek a second term.

Tony Venhuizen, Daugaard's director of communications and policy, said the governor has been preparing for an announcement, but it probably won't come until the end of the next legislative session. During the next few months, the governor is focusing on putting together a budget for next year and his agenda for the next session.

"I just think the governor is pretty focused on his day job, which is serving as governor and serving the people of the state," Venhuizen said.

Zach Crago, the Democratic Party's executive director, said he's confident the party will have a strong candidate who will "fight for South Dakota values.

"South Dakota needs a governor who believes in rewarding work, respecting women and investing in our children's education, and several Democrats have already expressed an interest in the job," Crago said.

Myers grew up in northern Sioux Falls. He graduated from Cathedral High School in 1954, served in the Navy and then returned home, graduating from South Dakota State University.