Joe Lowe has one more day to campaign unchallenged before Sue Wismer shoves the last tax return from her Britton desk and launches her campaign juggernaut campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. How's Lowe spending that precious time? Traveling to Pierre and beating up Governor Dennis Daugaard for his "unconscionable" refusal to expand Medicaid:
Lowe said that if he is elected, expanding the program to cover those who are making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level would be his first priority.
“We are not going to leave 48,000 South Dakotans out in the cold,” he said.
Lowe also called Daugaard’s reason for not expanding Medicaid – that he doesn’t trust the federal government’s ability to pay for the expansion – a “weak, mean-spirited excuse” [David Rookhuyzen, "Gubernatorial Candidate Critical of Daugaard while Campaigning in Pierre," Pierre Capital Journal, 2014.04.15].
...on teacher pay:
“I saw three administrations; I haven’t seen them make education a priority,” Lowe said [Rookhuyzen, 2014.04.15].
Lowe said the program didn’t have the necessary oversight and regulation and that an independent investigation needs to be done.
“It’s bad business at best,” he said [Rookhuyzen, 2014.04.15].
...and on economic development:
Lowe said the state needs to focus on developing the workforce it already has, instead of trying to recruit from out of state. He also frequently referred to his time as mayor of Mission Viejo, Calif., a city of nearly 100,000, which he said still has a AAA bond rating.
Lowe also told the Hughes and Stanley County Democrats that he doesn't support legalizing pot or building the Keystone XL pipeline, showing a commitment to opposing unhealthy addictions.
Sue Wismer likely won't disagree much with Lowe's main points here. Wismer and Lowe have a shared mission of pointing out the myriad ways in which 40 years of one-party autocracy have hindered progress and good governance in South Dakota. The question now, as the primary race begins in earnest will be which of them can better achieve that mission.