South Dakota's Current and Past Governor Won GOP Primary Races for Governor, U.S. Senate
South Dakota's current and past governor scored convincing Republican primary election wins Tuesday that could propel them to the lead in gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races in November and tighten the GOP grip on the state's top political offices.
Rounds avoided a runoff with any of four other candidates for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination to replace retiring Democrat Tim Johnson. Republicans nationally see the race as one of their strongest chances to pick up a Democratic seat in 2014, and if a Republican wins in November it would be the first time in 28 years both South Dakota U.S. Senate seats are held by the GOP.
"We are going to be focusing on November; we want to take back the (U.S.) Senate," Rounds said, adding that Republicans will work to "retire" current U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who was first elected governor in 2010 after serving eight years as Rounds' lieutenant governor, easily won a chance to earn a second full term in office, topping lesser-known challenger former state Rep. Lora Hubbel, of Sioux Falls.
"It's a thrill to be involved in government in a state that is as great as South Dakota is," Daugaard said after declaring victory.