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SD governor candidate Myers: 'I'm going to emulate Jesus'

As an independent candidate for governor, Michael Myers wants to loosen the grip he says Democrats and Republicans have had "around the throat of this state for a long time."

"I believe the Republicans are bullies and the Democrats are wimps," Myers said. "I believe only as an independent can I come and break that incredible amount of integrated, incestuous politics."

Myers, 77, of Centerville, is a former CEO of Mayo-St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn., and was also an executive with other hospitals. In an interview Wednesday with The Daily Republic at the newspaper's office in Mitchell, Myers was critical of the current health care industry, describing it as a "time bomb." He scoffed at the millions being paid to hospital executives while the cost of individual health care continues to rise.

Myers, also a former law professor at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, said he wants to rid state government of the influence of money coming from corporations and lobbyists.

"I'm going to emulate Jesus," Myers said. "Jesus went into the temple and drove the moneychangers out of the temple."

Among the other candidates for governor, Republican Lora Hubbel, a former one-term state legislator, is challenging Gov. Dennis Daugaard for the Republican nomination in the June 3 primary election. Democratic candidates for governor, Rep. Susan Wismer, of Britton, and Joe Lowe, of Piedmont, will also face off in a primary.

Hubbel, 56, of Sioux Falls, was critical of Daugaard in an interview Wednesday at the newspaper's office. She said he is leading the state toward further implementation of both the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and the Common Core school standards.

"He does have to be stopped," Hubbel said, referring to Daugaard. "He is not a Republican. He is an opportunist, not a Republican."

Hubbel also said Daugaard has used the Governor's Office of Economic Development like a Democrat, by forming partnerships between businesses and state government.

Hubbel is a native of Vermillion and a graduate of USD, and has worked as both a teacher and a nurse.