The small scoops of the day on South Dakota's U.S. Senate race come from State Representative Bernie Hunhoff:
Retired/aspiring U.S. Senator Larry Pressler was in the state capitol today. He filed nominating petitions, and we invited him to stop by the Democratic caucus. He seemed pleasantly surprised that it was open to all-comers. He said if the U.S. senate splits 49/51 or 48/52, then the one or two Independent senators will be positioned to make a big impact [Rep. Bernie Hunhoff, Facebook post, 2014.03.06].
Scoop #1: Pressler submits petitions?! How many? Enough? He needs 3,171 signatures by April 29. Pressler isn't on the official candidates list yet. I tried to confirm with the Secretary of State's office on the phone toward the end of business today, but the two guys who handle petitions, Secretary Jason Gant and senior elections coordinator Brandon Johnson, are off testing voting machines in Germany. We'll have to wait to see whether Pressler was just getting a few papers off his hands and into safe-keeping or whether the signature-gathering staff of Emmett Reistroffer has delivered a big organizing surprise for the biggest third-wheel in South Dakota politics.
Scoop #2: Pressler offers us a new line to justify gambling on electing a non-party guy. He says that if the Democrats and Republicans evenly split the Senate, South Dakota could enjoy more power by holding a precious swing Indy vote than it would by electing a member the main parties. Wait a minute... wasn't that an NBC series starring Josh Brolin before he became President? You're on the right career arc, Larry!