Odd couples get odder….
Amendment V, the open non-partisan primary proposal that we get to vote on in November, has already brought together 2014 Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland and registered independent Rick Knobe. Now the election-reform measure has recruited a Weiland nemesis from the 2014 campaign to Weiland and Knobe’s side. As chair of South Dakotans for Non-Partisan Elections, Rick Knobe announces that Nick Reid, campaign manager for 2014 right-wing independent Senate candidate Gordon Howie, is joining the Amendment V campaign as statewide field organizer.
“As a conservative-leaning Independent, I have been concerned about the partisan divide and control from both parties, in the state and across the country. Added to that is the fact that over 100,000 South Dakota Independent voters have a limited voice in our elections. Amendment V is a way for the voters to gain back some of the power that has been lost”, Reid said. “It’s time to put the debate back into the realm of ideas and away from simply a wrestling match between political parties that are too often not responsive to the needs and wishes of the people they are supposed to represent” [South Dakotans for Non-Partisan Elections, press release, 2016.03.22].
Rick, Rick, and Nick will be working to convince South Dakotans that taking party labels off the ballot, putting all candidates (for every office except President) on the same primary ballot, letting all voters vote on the same primary ballot, and making the general election a run-off between the top finishers of that open non-partisan primary is a good idea. They don’t have to convince me; I’m already there!
Reid didn’t move Gordon Howie past his right-wing default 3% in 2014. Reid should find more fertile ground among a broader base of independents and party members for the inclusive opportunity offered by Amendment V.