Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > A third Independent candidate brings us up to nine in the South Dakota US Senate Race

A third Independent candidate brings us up to nine in the South Dakota US Senate Race

May 2, 2014

MM900173989[1]Yesterday the SD Secretary of State Jason Gant officially approved the nominating petitions for Clayton Walker as an Independent in the US Senate Race. Walkers entry was somewhat of a surprise and I must admit I know almost nothing of this candidate. So far all I know is what David Montgomery wrote up on him for the Argus Leader:

Walker previously ran for the state Legislature in 2010, as a Democrat in Brookings. He came in third place in the primary with 151 votes and didn’t advance to the general election. Walker also worked as a legislative intern for the House Democrats in Pierre. But Walker said he’s now an independent who only registered as a Democrat to help get the internship.

He said he wants to “stand up for the young” as well as elderly voters, and supports term limits for both members of Congress and judges.

“I feel I’ll be able to get more energy in the Senate than some of our older candidates,” Walker said.

Walker hadn’t publicized his campaign, but said he had knocked on thousands of doors gathering signatures.

He’s unmarried and works as a small business consultant.

Wanting to stand up for the young and old doesn’t really tell us much about him as a candidate. But it is a long way until November, plenty of time yet to learn about this candidate and what he stands for.

With Walker in the race there are now officially 9 candidates in the South Dakota US Senate Race. Here is a cliff note summary of the candidates officially in this race:

  • Stace Nelson – Republican – Small government candidate of choice.
  • Jason Ravnsborg – Republican – Lawyer that hasn’t made a lot of headway, but has taken a lot of good conservative stances.
  • Larry Rhoden – Republican – A conservative west-river rancher that has a hard time getting people to connect with him.
  • Mike Rounds – Republican – The big money status quo politician in this race.
  • Annette Bosworth – Republican – She has been downgraded from “candidate with nothing to say” to “illegitimate candidate that needs to go away”.
  • Rick Weiland – Democrat – Former Daschle staffer trying to run a populist campaign and hide the fact he is a status quo politician.
  • Gordon Howie – Independent – Former Republican Tea Party gubernatorial candidate entering the race as a contingency in case Stace does not win the Republican primary.
  • Larry Pressler – Independent – The ultimate status quo politician trying to return to DC on the taxpayer dime.
  • Clayton Walker – Independent – Last minute entry into the race.

I think its great we have so many candidates. That means there will be five options on the ballot this fall for voters to choose from (1 R, 1 D, 3 I’s). Hopefully this is the start of a new trend in South Dakota. Having more candidates is potentially a good way to overcome the money of status quo politicians. I don’t think an Independent will actually win this time. But I do think there will be enough Independents getting votes to make the Republicans and Democrats nervous in this race. If that happens I believe the election of 2014 will lead to a surge of Independent candidates in mutiple races for 2016; that is what I am waiting to see!

  1. Tara Volesky
    May 2, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Clayton, you are young and want to attract young voters, but saying you have more energy than the older candidate is nonsense. These races should not be focused on age but should be focused on cronyism and corruption. Furthermore, our elected politicians are silencing and suppressing the other candidates by not having any televised debates and public forums. Daugaard and Rounds are depending on outside money, lobbyists, lies and the media to get them elected. We need to get new blood in Pierre to get rid of the fear factor and get back out our freedom of speech without having to worry about the consequences.

  2. Merlyn Schutterle
    May 3, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Rounds will be pleased to hear this. Divide and conquer.

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