Karl Adam, Miles Beacom, David H. Billion, John Calvin, Harry Christianson, Dana Dykhouse, Gil Haugen Construction, Tim Kessler, Dan Kirby, Nancy Neff, Larry Ness, Elaine Pacquin, POET, Thomas Reaves, Art Russo, Kevin Schieffer—these big-dollar donors and a whole lot of other Republicans need to find another horse to back in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Rep. G. Mark Mickelson, fresh off his easy reëlection to the District 13 House, announced today he’s backing out of his bid for the seat his dad and his grandpa occupied on the second floor of the Capitol:
He says it’s difficult to raise his sons if he’s out campaigning. In a letter sent this week to supporters, Mickelson says he expects to refund contributions to his political action committee, which has raised nearly $1 million [“Rep. Mark Mickelson Opts out of Running for Governor in 2018,” AP via Sioux City Journal, 2016.11.10].
Since forming his gubernatorial race PAC in August 2015, Mickelson had raised $922,641.98. He spent $52,487.28 on himself and $22,750 on 42 fellow legislators campaigns and Chris Nelson and the Butte County GOP in this year’s election. He thus has $847,404.70 left to send back to Adam, Beacom, Billion, et al. If everyone accepts an 8% discount on those refunds, Mickelson can cover everyone.
Looking at who might be left, likely relieved GOP rival Marty Jackley has $289,390.08 on hand in his gov-PAC as of the end of October plus $413,395.63 in his A.G.-PAC as of last April. Kristi Noem appears not to have created any such state PAC, and I don’t think she can dump her million-plus from her Congressional campaign fund into a state run. Matt Michels was sitting on $15,678.98 at the time of his last report last December. This blog’s favorite surprise Republican candidate for governor in 2018, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, had only $1,151.24 in her SOS campaign committee back in January.
Note that Mickelson’s demurral leaves the door open for another Sioux Falls candidate to claim the Queen City of the East’s 2018 voters. Paging Mayor Mike Huether?