Independents appear to have crapped out and offered no candidates for statewide office. The deadline for submitting petitions to nominate independents for the 2022 general election ballot was Tuesday, April 26, and as of this morning, Secretary of State Steve Barnett has not posted any certified independent candidates for U.S. House, U.S. Senate, or Governor. Bert Olson’s April 1 announcement of his candidacy to challenge Congressman Dusty Johnson appears to have gone nowhere (other than one surprise appearance with an air horn that got him bounced from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith’s launch party on April 9).
But fear not: South Dakota’s lone seat in Congress will not cruise down the Dusty trail uncontested. The Libertarians have once again risen to the challenge and nominated one of their party members to challenge Dusty in November. According to a surprisingly late Facebook note posted six days after their April 23 convention, the Libertarian Party of South Dakota has nominated Vale rancher Collin Duprel to run for U.S. House.
The Libertarians went mano e mano with Johnson in 2020 as well, with Libertarian Randy Luallin winning 75,748 votes, less than 20% of the total turnout. That’s the most votes a Libertarian has ever won in South Dakota, though not the highest percentage—in 2014, Libertarian John English won 23.55% of the vote for Commissioner of Schools and Public Lands against Republican Ryan Brunner, in another statewide race with no Democratic contender. Collin Duprel, the way is open for you to break both records.
The four Legislative contests the Libertarians are entering have no Democratic candidates, leaving Libertarians free to contend for the principled conservative vote.