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Daugaard Cash Endorsements Good for Dusty and 10 out of 11 Legislative Candidates

Governor Dennis Daugaard’s money apparently gets better with age. After a mixed record of success in picking primary winners in past elections, Daugaard saw his cash endorsements win in all but one race last night.

This spring, Governor Daugaard gave $1,000 to Dusty Johnson, who won the Republican nomination for U.S. House last night. Daugaard also gave $1,000 to eleven Republican Legislative candidates facing primary challenges. Daugaard-graced Sen. Gary Cammack, Rep. Mike Diedrich, Jon Hansen, Rep. Tom Holmes, Rep. David Johnson, Sen. Kris Langer, Jess Olson, Rep. Kent Peterson, Rep. Kyle Schoenfish, and Rep. Larry Zikmund all won nominations last night, most of them against arguably more conservative challengers.

The only Daugaard moderate who didn’t win last night was Amanda Scott, who only scored 41% against perennial District 33 favorite and flaming wingnut Senator Phil Jensen, who’s always been a thorn in Daugaard’s side.

Relatively moderate Daugaard goes 11 for 12 in primary endorsements after going halfsies in past primaries. Relatively moderate Dusty Johnson beats Trump-tacking Shantel Krebs and Trump-tacky Neal Tapio. Several Republican Legislative candidates beat back harder right challengers. I’ll develop this theme more today: Daugaard’s increased endorsement success in his only Trump-era primaryis exhibit #1 in my argument that Trump won’t help South Dakota Republicans win in 2018.


  1. Stace Nelson 2018-06-06 11:10

    You are overlooking the deeper $$$$ that this support brings. Daugaard rallies the special interest groups to donate to his chosen “moderate Republicans” who will help keep the spigots of tax payer monies turned on high:

    Conservatives face a similar problem that the Democrats face. These faux Republicans vote like tax & spend liberals to get the special interests $$$$ and then use that money to out spend actual conservatives claiming they are conservatives to fool the voters.

    Bill Kluck started campaigning in late March and fell 86 votes short to beat the best funded RINO incumbent in the state. Michael Boyle, brand new to his district, lost by only 127 votes, in a race that the governor was on the radio near begging to send another hand select RINO back to Pierre to keep the RINO political machine spigots turned on full.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-06 11:55

    Yeah, yeah, Kluck and Boyle came close, but the Daugaard machine still beat them and won bigger statewide than in past primaries. One would think that a Trump electorate would have boosted the fortunes of the Nelson/May wing of the party that has been critiquing RINOs and moderates for years. But that supposed Trump extremism did not translate into any help for the Nelson/May wing; the Kluck/Boyle contingent scored fewer victories last night than in previous SDGOP primaries. Why is that?

  3. Stace Nelson 2018-06-06 12:25

    “United we stand, divided we fall..” is an apt military expression that played out. I preached for years for conservatives to get organized to support the conservative minority. At the 11th hour we started to to do so. Time will tell if the lesson is learned. The moderates have the advantage of being organized and in massive amounts of money that come from hem being part of the tax & spend big political machine, and thus have the ability to spew out the empty political rhetoric (lies?) claiming to be conservative to fool the voters. Not one of these Daugaard “moderates” campaigned on their records of being tax & spenders, etc. They pulled a Mike Rounds and claimed to be conservative to fool the voters even as they accepted bags of cash for being the opposite.

  4. Dicta 2018-06-06 12:33

    Trump isn’t a conservative. He trashes free market principles on a regular basis, has supported abortion for years, cheats on every woman he has ever been with, wants tax cuts but is a profligate spender. He is absolutely nothing about what tea party conservatives claim to be.

    The fact that evangelicals still support him at 90% rate shows how truly full of it they, and many of the ‘true’ conservatives really are. This is what happens when populism runs rampant and “sticking it to liberals” becomes a party platform.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2018-06-06 15:56

    I never know who is or who isn’t a republican in Stace’s in world.

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