Maybe Paul TenHaken should hold up on that gubernatorial endorsement. The Constitution Party is offering not one but two conservative candidates for governor! The Constitution Party just announced yesterday that one of its Legislative aspirants, Rick Gortmaker of Rapid City, has decided he’ll challenge Terry LaFleur for the CP’s gubernatorial nomination. (Ooo, Paul, bonus: LaFleur does that internal capitalization thing!). If LaFleur or someone else prevails in the CP gubernatorial vote, Gortmaker says he’ll return to seeking CP nomination for District 35 House, which intention he declared in April.
Unlike Republican Lance Russell, who is running for both District 30 Senate and Attorney General, CPer Gortmaker can run for both goernor and District 35 House without running afoul of South Dakota’s ban on dual candidacy. Since the CP is newly authorized by its February court victory and House Bill 1286 to nominate candidates for Congress, Governor, and Legislature at convention, Gortmaker is not legally a candidate for either Governor or District 35 House until July 14, when a CP delegate rises from the bar at the American Legion and says, “I nominate Rick Gortmaker for….” Since nominations for Governor and Legislature will happen sequentially, Gortmaker will never technically be a candidate for both offices simultaneously.
Gortmaker still has zero easily Googlable campaign presence or biography to help inform the voters of his platform for South Dakota (and why would I work hard to find out what a Constitution Party candidate is about?). LaFleur offers an abundance of online reading material for Constitution Party delegates and other South Dakotans interested in what he would do to our fair state.
Constitution Party convention is Saturday, July 14, American Legion Post #15, Sioux Falls, 3 p.m. Central.