This previous Saturday the Constitution Party of South Dakota held its State Convention in Sioux Falls. At the Convention two candidates were chosen to run for statewide office. Here are the candidates named in the press release:
Wayne Schmidt of Mobridge for Public Utilities Commissioner and Lori Stacey of Sioux Falls for her second run for Secretary of State won their nominations by unanimous vote.
I think its great to see the Constitution Party putting forth candidates. It is too early to know if I support either candidate. But as always I will give candidates of all parties (or none) a fair chance and follow their actions over the next few months. It should be noted however that both candidates have a long road ahead of them to get votes.
Public Utilities Commissioner
Way Schmidt is not a surprise candidate. Technically the Constitution Party announced his entry into the Public Utilities Commissioner race back in January. As noted before Schmidt has run for a legislative seat in District 23 twice; once in 2006 going for a State Senate Seat and then again in 2008 going after a State House seat. This will place Schmidt against Gary Hanson this fall (who was chosen by Republicans at their convention to seek re-election). The Democrats have yet to hold their convention, so it is still unknown who the third candidate in this race will be.
No matter what it will be a tough battle for either third-party candidate (Constitution Party and Democrat Party). Here are the results of the 2012 PUC races:
The almost 6% that voted for Libertarian candidate Russell Clarke is likely mostly from the “I won’t vote for either big party” group. If Schmidt has any hope he is going to have to find support from outside of that group. Perhaps as the election progresses we will find out more about this candidate and see why he should (or shouldn’t) get votes.
Secretary of State
Lori Stacey’s entry into the Secretary of State race is no surprise. Stacey has been an activist trying to get voters away from the two big parties for years (well, one big party in SD). She also ran for this office in 2010. Here are the results from then:
It is worth noting Stacey received just over 6% of the votes. Similar to the amount of votes received by the Libertarian PUC candidate in 2012. This time at it Stacey must find a way to reach more voters. Her best chance may be to show how she can fix the problems that currently plague the SOS office. She might try some GOTV efforts with the reservations since ballot access is one of the issues I’ve heard speak about before.
Just as with the PUC candidate Schmidt, I am glad to see Stacey in this race. It is far too soon to know if I support her as a candidate. But I definitely support her being in the race and hope learn more about her solutions over the next few months.