Jay Williams Declares Democratic Run for U.S. Senate

Democrat Jay Williams will challenge Republican John Thune for his U.S. Senate seat. Straight from South Dakota Democratic Party HQ:

Jay Williams, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
Jay Williams, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

“My family and I moved back to South Dakota for the quality of the schools and the sense of community. I’m afraid our young people and those considering a move to South Dakota wouldn’t make the same choice to raise a family in our great state today. We need a Senator focused on the priorities that matter to South Dakotans,” U.S. Senate candidate Jay Williams said.”We are excited that Jay has entered the race. He brings a wide range of experience that positions him to be a strong voice for South Dakota,” said South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Ann Tornberg. Born in Gettysburg, South Dakota, Williams has a bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Madison-Wisconsin and has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. He has served in the Navy, Peace Corp and mostly recently a term on the Yankton school board. He has been a small business owner in Yankton since 1987.

To learn more info about Jay and his campaign, please visit www.jaywilliams2016.com [SDDP, press release, 2016.02.19].

Williams thus proves wrong a year of wishful conservative prognostication that Democrats would repeat the error of letting legacy-less John Thune win re-election without challenge. Now Williams faces the challenge of proving that a Democrat can effectively hold John Thune accountable for his record of failure and partisan obstruction in Washington.

67 Responses to Jay Williams Declares Democratic Run for U.S. Senate

  1. Don Coyote

    Pretty thin website. Other than the use of the cliched introductory bio, there’s nothing at all for voters to base their decision on except that he’s a Democrat. You would have thought given the importance of this race he would have invested some time into developing a website that actually says something and hit the ground running building on the press he’s getting. Instead it reads like some legislative candidate’s campaign mailer. Talk about low energy

  2. Don Coyote,

    As mentioned before this campaign will most likely end up being an embarrassing train wreck for the SDDP. Oh well. Get the popcorn.

  3. It’s thicker than your website, Don Coyote. Why don’t you show us how it’s done? ;-)

  4. Lynn, you and Pat sure like to say train wreck a lot. You said the announcement would be a train wreck. I didn’t hear any crashing. Give us an example of a train wreck. What vote total constitutes a train wreck?

  5. Cory,

    The campaign will be a train wreck not the announcement. Perhaps “Trainwreck” is just the best description as to how this campaign will end up whether shared by others or not. Unfortunately it shows just how bad things are with the SDDP. Competition drives us to be better but this will not be the case with this race and it may reflect negatively on other SDDP candidates within the state.

  6. Randolph Pudwill

    Alright, the candidate has been announced, let’s get to work. Thune has been a dismal shill of the rich, concerned only with rapid personal advancement within his party knowing his days are as limited as his angry, old, white base which are rapidly dying off.

  7. I remember that guy who ran against Herseth, so this person or thing is saying we are the only ones who have problems.Hey C,H, SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS SO I CAN SEND YOU A CHECK MOSES.

  8. Did the release from SDDP really say ‘Peace Corp’?

  9. Bob Newland

    It’s more likely to be a campaign of silent desparation than a “train wreck.” Something like what’s already evident with the Hawks campaign. According to Kevin Woster, she won’t even bother to return a phone call to set up an interview.

    Neither Hawks nor Williams is liable to come up with any money to buy exposure, but Paula could get some press for the price of a phone call.

  10. Good for Jay, now let’s see him go after Thune with some questions that should be answered. I wouldn’t worry about the train wreck as Thune does not want to be reminded about his past dealings with rails. http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/27/news/economy/railroad_fortune/ History is always fun to read as it shows a long “track” of lobbyist pocket change.

  11. hey, some of the teachers here have worse penmanship, spelling and grammar than our young new wordsmiths and -smithesses. my guess is where it matters, rounds’ knowledge of another corp, USACOE, which flooded round’s home he built after serving as governor for two terms and negotiated many times with the corps of engineers on Missouri river management, he is obviously lacking. WHO in rounds position of power and knowledge living next to the muddy, flooddy (?) “mo” would build their house where he did for the view, and then expect the rest of us to bail him out after a heavy snow in Montana. He prolly knew climate change could/may have contributed to such a result too, but he wants to get rid of epa in d.c. dilbert! he was too busy learning to fly more.

    so let’s every one of us 175,000 or so dems work ceaselessly against thune’s millions and the gop’s reliance on thune as its water carrier.

    yahoo. welcome and thank you jay for running. we’ll back you big time with our effort.

    curt, jus giving u a lil’ sheit. I agree entirely. and when I want accurate grammar and context, I expect to pay for it, and wish I hadn’t squandered honors English as a senior. we can’t blame our secretaries or computers in the big leagues. that is what this race is. (of course perfectionism is a no-win game–I say…make mistakes–but win)

  12. Everyone makes mistakes in life but when it comes to politics it’s wise to be honest with yourself and ask will my past help or be a liability if I ran for office? It obviously depends on just how high that elected office is to endure the scrutiny.

    Some people given their past are better suited to a supportive role where they can use their talents to really make a difference. Others the mistakes or choices they made in life will have no or a minor effect on votes.

    This will not end well but it’s been a series of very bad tactical and strategic decisions by the SDDP with voter registration continuing to plummet.

    Oh Well! It will be a great opportunity sample some new choices for gourmet popcorn and watch it all go down.

  13. paula is in session right now. paid to stay kinda busy. join the dems bob. it typically requires a couple of runs to develop name recognition and high profile unless you are a republican…. like Krebs, like thune, like noem. beautiful people but, vacuous. (2 outta 3 ain’t bad)

    young voters may go for beauty. dems go for ethics and philosophy of the middle class (includes everyone except the privileged w/ no sense of “who built it”)

  14. John Kennedy Claussen

    Thank you Jay! This is a dramatic improvement from 2010.

  15. Bill Dithmer

    Name recognition is everything in SD. You have to have that name in front of the public every day for several years before you run for office, any office. Oh ya, you have to be a republican right now.

    It looks like Jay is the wrong party, and an unknown. It wont be a pretty race, but then against JT you would expect nothing less.

    “Good for Jay, now let’s see him go after Thune with some questions that should be answered.”

    Why would Thune even open his mouth let alone answer any questions? He will let his war chest do his talking and walk into the endzone with a thirty point margin.

    Sorry but thats as rosy a picture as I can post for the dems in SD this time.

    The Blindman

  16. at the end of the election lynn may become pleasingly plum and dems will have saved the world.

    SD itself won’t come around for awhile yet. baby steps.

  17. and as has been said before about others, bill, you left….

    there is great truth in what you say, maybe, until it’s wrong.

  18. Bill Dithmer

    Leslie, we both know I’m not wrong.

    The Blindman

  19. Roger Cornelius

    God I hate to even say the word, but here goes.
    For Lynn, the only criteria for a Democratic candidate is that they are opposed to marijuana, nothing else matters.

  20. Bill Dithmer

    JT is insolated from EB5, he wasnt anywhere near when Benda got bent, and Gear Up is something he does at the Senate gym.

    I’m saying that the only way Thune could not win is if “he” posted a vedio of him having sex with a 12 year old boy.

    But like Tim Wilson, “I could be wrong.”

    The Blindman

  21. Roger,

    This has nothing to do with SDDP’s support to legalize weed. Regarding candidate scrutiny it has already started and the opposition are ripping this guy to shreds with his past. He will be lucky to overcome all of that with his message.

    This negative press will add additional negative challenges to other SDDP candidates running. If Dems want to be in denial as to what is already happening, the mistake that was made in candidate selection and how this will play out than fine.

    Bill Dithmer do you write songs also? What has been happening with the SDDP should make great song material. Blues?

  22. Dithmer-I wouldn’t work for free for the dems if I didn’t think you were wrong. its a matter of time, and if we don’t work it we give up.

    thune supported rounds run for senate with all the EB5 info. we could scrabble together and more. rounds is directly responsible for EB5 as governor for his GOED and daugaard covered the investigation up on his watch. very aggressive independent prosecution would cool these good ole’ boys’ jets. likely, law enforcement already has some “goods” that haven’t surfaced.

    authorize a good investigator, lawyer and a cpa, now, and that little team could take these two down in 6 months. do nothing and statutes of limitation run and joop destroys records. otherwise thune keeps getting photo ops with south Carolina’s chief DC obstructor. and lame attacks on the democratic party keep coming. pathetic criticism.

  23. Another lame attack:

    “SDDP’s support to legalize weed” lyn.

    who else? I see NO ONE else who agrees with you lynn.

    SDDP does not support legalization of weed.

    go to colo. and WA and put the genie back in the bottle.

  24. Bill Dithmer

    Lynn, dont need to when there is already “The Bluest Blues.” I will leave that to Alvin Lee and George Harrison. https://open.spotify.com/track/3d5e9kJDkgc7Jum8d8xtrl

    The Blindman

  25. I just find it hard to believe that there isn’t some young, attractive moderate Dem from East River, preferably Sioux Falls boy (or girl) that is as charming as sliced bread and quick as a wit with a nice well known SD name that could go against Thune.
    Come on Dems there just has to be that someone out there. Dig harder.
    By the way, what is all the dirt on this Williams dude over at the War Toilet was talking about? What is it Troy and Pat? The Way the War Toilet was going at him was there was something really criminal Williams did.

  26. Roger Cornelius

    Troy and Pat at the Dump Site are nothing more than a fart in the whirlwind.

  27. jenny. its all about $$. repubs have it in the state. dems don’t. exterminate Citizen’s United. you know this. remember matt varlik? remember rick weiland? remember susan wismer? you can’t get finer people. dems need everyone ON THE GROUND, NOW.

  28. David Newquist

    This is the good old South Dakota version of party building, where everybody thinks they’re Donald Trump.

  29. I think Jay Williams will be a fine candidate but it IS all about name recognition. Dithmer is right about that. Especially in SD, they’re not going to break out the checkbook until they know you really well and for years. Being a dem and not known at all, South Dakotans are really going to sniff him over like dogs do. I’m serious.
    Is Williams even known in the SD Dem circles?

  30. Leslie,

    My mistake. Go get em! Yep! EB-5, GOED, Rounds airplane, and all that. Thune is totally vulnerable and ripe to be defeated in a landslide.

  31. mike from iowa

    Two more guitar legends gone,Blindman.

  32. larry kurtz

    The Dems debated a medical cannabis plank at the state convention in Yankton but Minnehaha County delegates powered it out of the platform.

  33. larry kurtz

    Williams has exactly zero to lose by driving legal cannabis in his quest for nomination.

  34. one vote is all that matters. that’s why your republican party strategy is to obstruct voting rights.

    maybe you can work for him. as a former dem, what is it about thune that you would give away your vote for him and the GOP and SDGOP? jay knows thune is hardly vulnerable. sounds like jay has some back bone. how do you change spots?

    otherwise, Roger has pretty well put it in a nutshell.

  35. I forgot corrina @ 15:53, and Joe too.

    I see your star phil Jensen is coming unglued. did I see him in the legislature the other day with an earring, not that there is anything wrong with that?:)

  36. larry kurtz

    John Thune can’t be vetted for Veep because of his slimy past and we should be hammering on that.

  37. larry kurtz

    Williams has a twitter account. @Jay4Senate

  38. larry kurtz

    Pat Powers just followed Jay Williams on twitter after reading it here.

  39. I love this fellow’s picture! He has crazy eyes, and that will get him votes!!

  40. Larry fill us in on photo ops past.

  41. Jenny –
    Not that it matters, but I will answer your question. Yes, Mr Williams is ‘known in SD Dem circles.’ He co-chaired the last State Party Convention in his hometown (Yankton).

  42. Phil Jensen has an earring? That really turns it for me, I don’t care what ear it is in but a fellow that age wearing those swank clothes and now some hip earring tells me he’s hit midlife crisis at age 35.

  43. Don Coyote

    @cah: “It’s thicker than your website, Don Coyote. Why don’t you show us how it’s done? ;-)”

    But then I’m not running for Senate and I haven’t spent my professional life in the computer sector. You’d think he would have at least “tried” to have his social media and website up and running (something a high school freshman could’ve helped him with) before announcing but instead it appears he’s just the schlemiel who drew the short stick. Must be still keeping his powder dry for that big blitz in October. ;-)

  44. larry kurtz

    Here’s part of John Thune’s legacy: making the world safer for nobody.


  45. larry kurtz

    But, Rapid City has become a haven for domestic violence, meth and biker trash because of John Thune’s support of the military/industrial complex, so there is that.

  46. larry kurtz

    My source in Governor Daugaard’s office just told me that Mike Rounds is contemplating resignation.

  47. Mr. Williams vs. Mr. Jensen in a race for the legislatures would be a fair fight.

  48. Lar,

    Rounds resigning? Wow! Was that as a result of our US government making an intergalactic secret deal with the Alpha Centauri aliens?

  49. John Kennedy Claussen

    Here is Jay’s speech at Democratic Forum today:


  50. Grudz,

    Lar must really have a high security clearance and very good connections. Whatever is in his pipe gives him special mental/psychic abilities. It’s amazing!

  51. Ms. Lynn, Lar gets calls daily from the Great State of South Dakota updating him on the goings on in the bowels of the government. He has more sources than PP. He is the highest ranking Libertarian in South Dakota politics and he’s not even legally able to visit the state!

  52. Roger Cornelius

    As an active and proud South Dakota Democrat, I intend to learn as much as I can about Jay Williams. There isn’t don’t seem to be much out there about Jay other than the crap that Powers at the Dump Site is producing.

    Jay will have a platform that Democrats can relate to and support and again I look forward to learning more about them.

    Jay can lead every campaign speech by asking what, if anything, has John Thune accomplished for South Dakota other than provide pork for the military industrial complex.

    I do know one thing, anybody would be better for South Dakota than John Thune, South Dakota needs a voice in the senate, not a picture.

    Jay Williams, along with Cory and Paula Hawks, can fully expect my financial support.

  53. larry kurtz

    Amen, Roger.

  54. I have not read any of Mr. PP’s articles about the new Democrat candidate, Mr. C. I guess I don’t intend to unless somebody tells me they are interesting.

    I, for one, hope Mr. Williams starts blogging here frequently so we can all learn more about his positions and abilities.

  55. Jay has my vote. Takes a lot of courage to run as a dem in a red state. He needs our support.

    In think he will do better than we think. The other option is to let Thune be in opposed.

  56. Roger Cornelius

    If I may, Greg Belfrage Daily Dose (conservative from the heartland of America) blog at the right of this thread thinks that state lawmakers deserve better from us.

    Belfrage is offended that we call dumb asses dumb asses.

  57. Bob Newland

    If he gets 49.999%, he’ll do better than we think, but he’ll still lose. And he won’t get more than about 30%. Unless someone feeds him about $2 mil.

  58. Roger Cornelius

    Good find. The next time that Stud character comes on board you might want to refer to this article.

  59. South Dakotans must really must stop whining about taxation.
    South Dakotans Love to be taxed…………
    increase in fees (Taxes by a different name)
    voted to pay double taxation on cell phone service
    South Dakota lottery
    increase taxes to build another monument to Denny Sanford
    pay sales tax on food and clothing
    $1.00 increase in cigarette tax
    increase in gasoline tax
    and many other taxes
    Yet you all don’t say a word about the legislators cutting the school funding which is in direct violation to the state constitution
    you do not whine about teacher pay (the people who spend more time with your children than you all do) or single mothers working 2 and 3 jobs to feed their families
    You exempt the wealthiest and the corporations in this state (who profit more from our resources) not to pay any state income tax
    Please stop with the tears about your taxation………….
    I will research to discover if this candidate is going to do anything for South Dakota or if he will be a shoe shiner for the Koch brothers as thune is doing.

  60. Don Coyote

    The SF Drinking Liberally Chapter is none too impressed with Mr Williams:

    “In South Dakota, Ann Tornberg introduces her candidate for the US Senate today. Rumor has it that it will be Jay Williams from Yankton. But, before you look surprised and ask yourself who Jay Williams is, remind yourself that it could have been Ron Volesky. There is ennui, and then there is deep ennui. Jay Williams may even represent progress.”



  61. John Wrede

    Frankly and unfortunately, it would appear that a lot of this skepticism is warranted. At this writing, I’ve heard nothing out here in Cloud Nine Ultra Conservative Right land about this candidate and the best Paula Hawks can do is send me campaign letters asking me for money. (That isn’t going to happen until she changes her tune on the environment and corn ethanol) If this sort of thing happens after candidates are well into fray, its a clear indicator that preparation and planning is foreign object in the Democratic carburetor. The parties engine is not hitting on all cylinders and anybody that hopes to get it running down the road had better figure out how to get it out of the garage first. I don’t know whether its lack of money, leadership, political organization or what it is but whatever it is, somebody is going to have to step up to the plate and come up with statewide notoriety and purpose.

  62. jay-“or if he will be a shoe shiner for the Koch brothers as thune is doing.”

    where did that thought come from??

  63. Roger Elgersma

    Williams knows what a democrat is and he knows what a republican used to be and what they have morphed into. This is good to know in a red state because he knows both what he is and what the other guys are supposed to be and what they have become. He can talk to the people where they are at and understand them and he is good enough for them to hear what he has to say. I think he has a chance. Not a guarantee but a chance to make a difference and maybe even win. GO JAY!

  64. Here some of the kinds of folks Jay will be running against in his efforts to beat Thune. These guys are from out of state, but you can see the resemblance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KORZ8F–crY