Speaking of using the Web for politics, my Facebook updates are buzzing with notes on the new "Draft Matt Varilek for Congress" page. Mr. Varilek has made no declaration, but his name has surfaced among the chattering classes. Premier chatterer Kevin Woster has deemed Varilek "the most likely and perhaps most formidable" candidate we Dems could throw at Congresswoman Kristi Noem next year.
It's a bit early for anyone's teeth to start chattering over a Facebook primary, but as of this writing, the Draft Varilek page has 182 "Likes." Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth has signaled his intent to challenge Noem for her seat next year. The "Jeff Barth for Congress" Facebook group has 60 members. (Remember: "Likes" and "Members" are likely totally different statistical beasts.)
Don't forget that the party line appears to be "We want Stephanie!" Yet Chairman Nesselhuf's pre-primary endorsement seems not to have trickled down to all online members of the party. And I don't see a "Draft Stephanie!" page on Facebook yet (but Facebook search really stinks!).
I would welcome such a page, and a couple others from candidates, or at least candidates' boosters, who want to put forth the strongest challenge possible for South Dakota's lone House seat in 2012. A vigorous primary seems not to have hindered the GOP's ability to win in 2010; arguably, it helped latecomer Kristi Noem get some momentum in press and donations. Even if SHS jumps in with her frontrunner advantages in recognition and cash, we Dems could make great use of a primary to vet our candidates, test messages, educate voters, and find out what the electorate really wants.
DRAFT STEPHANIE! I want her back doing great things for South Dakota. Six months has been long enough. Also STEPH for SENATE in 2014!
Guy, if you want SHS in Senate in 2014, how about using 2012 to establish another viable Dem in the race against Noem, backed with SHS money, then have both that Dem (Varilek, Barth, someone else?) and SHS leading the ticket in 2014? Synergy?
Yes, that is a great idea. I doubt Tim Johnson is hanging around for a 4th term in the Senate. Besides, we seem to have an unwritten eletoral rule in South Dakota about trying for the 4th term in the Senate: it has not happened since "King" Karl Mundt. McGovern, Pressler, and Daschle all didn't make it past 3 terms. So, Steph is the logical and best choice. Frankly, I don't know who to run for the House next time around. Is Brendan Johnson at all interested in the governorship in 2014?
By 2014 I would think that Mitch Fargen or Angie Buhl would be ready to test the waters.
...then, there is Mayor Mike Huether of Sioux Falls.
Isn't Varilek a former Johnson staffer ? I know I can't support Barth. He has been more of a R on the county commission
Jeff Barth is a former meighbor of mine, and a fine man. He would have a lot of work to do, but he is dedicated, and will work hard. And win or lose, he will fly the Dem flag.
Matt V is a current Johnson staffer and I'm convinced he'd be a very good candidate. Click on Cory's facebook link for a little more biography if you're interested.
Just for clarification, he is the director of economic development for Tim.
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