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Weiland, Nelson deride out-of-state money in Senate race

SIOUX FALLS -- A Republican and Democrat came together in the public library Monday to complain about "big money" in the U.S. Senate race in general and former S.D. governor Mike Rounds in particular.

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State Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate nomination and Democratic Senate candidate Rick Weiland, Sen. Tom Daschle's former state director, stood together in front of reporters, other candidates and members of the public.

Both acknowledged it was an odd coupling but something that should be more common, Nelson said.

But the main thrust of the joint news conference was that both candidates don't like out-of-state money in politics and that Rounds has raised so much of it — a total of $730,000 last quarter alone with more than $1 million in the bank — onward to an announced goal of $9 million.

"Money has more say in national, state and local elections than votes," Weiland said about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign finance.

Both laid attacks against front-running Republican candidate Mike Rounds, the state's immediate past governor.

The Republican U.S. Senate primary is June 3. The Republican candidates are scheduled to meet in a forum Saturday at the S.D. Newspaper Association convention in Pierre and in a debate on S.D. Public TV May 15.