Mike Rounds must be scared of Scyller Borglum. Instead of letting the rookie legislator from Rapid City wallow in her own chancelessness against the rich incumbent, Team Rounds is attacking Borglum as an out-of-state liberal trying to infiltrate the South Dakota Republican Party. Here’s a fundraising e-mail sent by Rounds campaigner Rob Skjonsberg yesterday:
In a new trend around the country, democrats are working to infiltrate GOP primaries, posing as republicans in red states like South Dakota or funding disruptive challengers with the intent to manipulate the election. The GOP senate majority is slim, currently 53-47. We can’t take any chances to allow the national democrats to scheme and steal South Dakota’s important senate seat.
Yesterday, a primary challenger from the left, announced their [sic] candidacy against Mike.
…Mike is now being attacked by a one-term state legislator, who moved to South Dakota four years ago. The challenger who is attacking Mike has a failing scorecard with multiple, conservative statewide organizations.
2019 Legislative Scorecard:
Family Heritage Alliance: 64%
Americans for Prosperity: 20%
Citizens for Liberty (2nd Amendment): 60%
Mike is the real conservative, with a clear record of accomplishment, in this race and we need your financial support today to keep the U.S. Senate in GOP control, and as the backstop for President Trump.
Please make your donation of $100, $50, $25 or whatever you can afford today! [Rob Skjonsberg, Rounds campaign fundraising e-mail, 2019.07.02]
Borglum is indeed a dreaded out-of-stater, originally from Great Falls, Montana. She got her master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Montana Tech and Highlands College in 2014. She then came to School of Mines for her doctorate in geological engineering, which she earned in May 2018.
But the themes of her opening campaign speech—Trump has “common sense,” build a wall, let the free market solve health care—make clear she is no Democrat. Team Rounds is just getting a head start in running an ad hominem campaign of slogans and labels rather than any real discussion of policy… which is what we expect from the South Dakota Republican Party.