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Noem Endorsed Rausch in District 4 Primary; Voters Shrugged

Governor Dennis Daugaard and hyperpartisan Secretary of State Jason Gant saw District 4 blow big raspberries at their endorsements of Speaker Val Rausch in his primary effort to unseat Senator and fellow Republican Tim Begalka last Tuesday.

But guess who else's endorsement didn't amount to a hill of beans in District 4?

Rausch Mailer District 4 2012 Primary - address - annotated
(click to embiggen!)

Yeah, yeah, Larry Tidemann. His endorsement was probably canceled out thrice by Rausch's campaign address on Country Club Drive. (Seriously, Val? You couldn't spring $20 for a P.O. Box to avoid that clear negative message?)

Flip the card:

Kristi Noem's failed endorsement of Val Rausch in June 2012 GOP District 4 Senate primary
(click to embiggen!)

Not only is Val Rausch a good friend, but he's a serious legislator who cares deeply about his state and his district.

—Congresswoman Kristi Noem

Oooooooh. Congresswoman Kristi Noem told her fellow Republicans how to vote in their primary, and two-thirds of them said, "Buzz off." (Insert happy dance here. Insert a couple.)

District 4 neighbors Noem's home county of Hamlin and now includes the non-Watertown portion of Codington County that Noem represented when she served in the House for District 6. District 4 also includes Grant, Deuel, and non-urban Brookings County. In the 2010 primary, Noem won majorities in all of those counties but Brookings, where she beat Chris Nelson 44% to 34%.

Daugaard's 2010 primary results followed a similar pattern: majorities in Codington, Grant, and Deuel, but not in Brookings, where hometowner Scott Munsterman beat him 51% to 33%.

In Tuesday's primary, Begalka hammered Rausch 75% to 25% in Codington, 77% to 23% in Brookings, and 92% to 8% in his home Deuel County. Rausch won his home county of Grant, but by a much more meager margin of 55% to 45%.

Lesson #1: Legislative races are local. Big-name endorsements, even our sitting Congressmodel's, don't appear to swing too many votes. The endorsement that appeared to hit the mark was conservative Kingfaker Gordon Howie's... and I suspect his bet on Begalka was simply the broken watch being right twice a day.

Lesson #2: District 4 does not listen to Kristi. Matt! Beat Noem on her doorstep! Send reinforcements to District 4!


  1. Barry Smith 2012.06.09

    Hmmm how does it go now? If you support a Rino , that makes you a Rino. So since Kristi fits that criteria I wonder if she can count on tea party support this year?

  2. mike 2012.06.10

    I hope the Tea Party revolts against Noem. Begalka was piled on by the establishment.

    Everyone who supported Kristi needs to ask her why she opposed a good strong conservative.

  3. mike 2012.06.10

    Kristi looks really bad doing this.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.11

    I'd be perfectly fine with being rich. I'm perfectly fine with my neighbors being rich. But even rich Republicans running for office try not to flaunt their wealth too much. (And Rausch isn't that rich, is he?)

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