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Herseth’s Path to Another Term a Little Less Dusty

Public Utilities Commission Chairman Dusty Johnson (R) has decided against challenging Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D) next year, and also ruled out a run for the at-large seat if it opens up for any reason.

According to local news reports, Johnson, 30, and with a young son, said the timing was not right for his family. He had been considering a run for Senate, and then shifted his sights to the House.

Although Sen. Tim Johnson (D) is preparing to run for re-election, his recovery from a stroke continues to fuel speculation that he might retire next year. If that were to occur, political observers of South Dakota politics believe Herseth would run for Senate, leaving her House seat vulnerable to a Republican takeover.

In part because of the political uncertainty in the state caused by Johnson’s illness, Republicans do not have candidates lined up for the House or the Senate next year.
— David M. Drucker