Speaking of coming back from the dead….
Heads up, Democrats: your chances of unseating Governor Kristi Noem in 2022 just decreased by 30%.
Recognizing that her Beltway brain trust and nepotism corps have failed her, the Snow Queen has decided (has been driven by desperation? has been compelled by nervous party leaders?) to drag perhaps the smartest member of the SDGOP establishment back to Pierre to manage her administration:
Governor Kristi Noem announced today that she will name Tony Venhuizen as her new chief of staff. Venhuizen, who has been working with the Governor’s Office on a temporary basis since January, will be leaving his private law practice to rejoin state government.
“Given his tenure and wealth of historical knowledge, Tony brings a unique set of skills to my team,” Noem said. “Time after time, he has answered the call to public service in the name of the great people of South Dakota. I’m excited to have him leading my office as we head into the second year of my term.”
Hiring Tony Venhuizen—now that’s vision! If anybody can stop Noem from frittering away her slim 2018 election margin and surrendering the big Second Floor office to sensible Democrats (or a practical Libertarian, if that’s not an oxymoron), it’s Venhuizen.
Venhuizen chiefed his father-in-law Dennis Daugaard’s staff for over a full term before moving to Sioux Falls with his family to make big money as a private lawyer. That Venhuizen would give up the good life in the Queen City of the East to go back to his old office across the hall from the Governor’s suggests either that Venhuizen finds practicing law far less rewarding than making it in Pierre, that he is one of those rare and prized birds who finds more satisfaction in public service than in private lawyering, or that, for this young family man, who has never lived under a Democratic governor, the only worse than having to move his family back to Pierre or split time between the Big Mo and the Big Sioux is the inconceivable prospect of living in a South Dakota ruled by the Democrats who would landslide an unaided and rudderless Noem in 2022.
(But hey, Tony, don’t worry: as your next Governor, I might hire you as chief of staff, too!)