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Pressler's in -- 'probably'

Former U.S. senator Larry Pressler wants his seat back — well, probably.

In a news release issued Thursday, Pressler said he plans to announce next week whether he will join the 2014 U.S. Senate race in South Dakota, saying he “will probably seek to return as an independent to break up the two-party deadlock.”

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Larry Pressler  Pressler, 71, represented South Dakota as a Republican during two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1979, and three terms in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1997. He lost his re-election bid to current Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, who is not seeking re-election and plans to retire.

That means if Pressler enters the race, he’ll be running for his own former Senate seat.

Pressler, a Humboldt native, will announce his intentions at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 26 in Sioux Falls, at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 27 in Watertown and at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 27 in Aberdeen.

If he runs, Pressler will join a crowd of candidates already vying for Johnson’s Senate seat. On the Republican side, former Gov. Mike Rounds of Fort Pierre, state Sen. Larry Rhoden of Union Center, state Rep. Stace Nelson of Fulton, Sioux Falls physician Annette Bosworth and attorney Jason Ravnsborg of Yankton have all declared. The only Democratic candidate who has declared is Rick Weiland, a former aide to Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle.