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Legislative Candidate Scott Craig Disavows Past Association with Gordon Howie

Republican pastor Scott Craig is running for one of the House seats in District 33, which covers a swath of North Rapid City, reaches north to Black Hawk and Summerset, and reaches west into the Hills to Lakes Sheridan and Pactola. He's a newcomer to South Dakota, saying he's still acclimating to the climate here after moving from Hawaii a couple years ago. His newcomer status probably won't affect his electability as much as the big R behind his name: Democrats face an uphill climb anywhere west of Ellsworth Air Force Base, and only one Democrat, Robin Page, is challenging Craig and incumbent Republican Jackie Sly for the two District 33 House seats.

However, eleven other letters could drag down Craig's vote total: G-O-R-D-O-N H-O-W-I-E. Craig worked for Gordon Howie's doomed 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Pastor Craig spoke for the self-declared Tea Party champion in ads and on the campaign trail. He backed Howie's exhortation of pastors to break the law by endorsing his holy candidacy from the pulpit (although I don't think we ever got Craig or any other pastors on the record actually endorsing Howie mid-sermon). Even after Howie's trouncing in the primary, Craig contributed essays and sermons to Howie's Potemkin blogroll urging the unhealthy and unChristian ingling of church and state.

I assumed that Craig's candidacy was part of the great conservative Christian revolution that Howie fantasizes he is leading. So, apparently, have a number of other folks. Pastor Craig says that as he's out campaigning, folks will say, "Oh yeah, you're pals with Gordon, aren't you?"

Scott Craig wants you to know that's no longer the case. We chatted last night on the phone, and he said he is not a Gordon Howie guy. He says he cut himself off from Howie not long after Howie's 2010 primary defeat. If Craig views Howie as a force of any sort in West River politics, it is only as a negative force, one whose reputation only drags down candidates who risk associating with him. Craig's politics are still conservative, but they are his own, not Gordon Howie's.

Scott Craig just wants you to know that. Feel free to discuss Pastor Craig's disavowal of Gordon Howie today's "Liberty Lunch."


  1. Rorschach 2012.10.17

    Does this make him the Judas of tea party politics?

  2. Richard Schriever 2012.10.17

    I belive that would make Pastor Craig the Tea Partiers' "Peter" - the denier, not their "Judas" - the betrayer.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.10.17

    Interesting you should mention the Judas label. I haven't heard Pastor Craig renounce any conservative principles or policies. He's only saying he wants no association with one specific person who has eagerly associated himself with the Tea Party brand. I do not presume to read Pastor Scott's mind, but if I were a Tea Partier, I could imagine applying the "Judas" label to Howie sooner than to Craig, based on Howie's crass effort to capitalize on the Tea brand to solicit donations for his personal fantasies of media empire and party-splitting.

  4. Justin 2012.10.17

    I think Kermit Staggers and his youthful ward Scott DaCola would also like people to forget that Staggers was Howie's gubernatorial running mate.

    Start shaking your Etch a Sketches. Just because you dress up in tights and wear a tri-cornered hat with another man doesn't mean people should remember the relationship, right? These guys were just lonely and caught up in the romance of this astroturfed "movement". After all, everybody participates in political experimentation for the sake of winning votes, right?

  5. grudznick 2012.10.17

    Pastor Craig stuck around far longer than I after he and Mr. Howie overgodded on everybody. I bet his garage is still full of those red 2010 signs that I slogged around. If he wins I bet there will be some interesting prayer breakfasts during the sessions.

  6. grudznick 2013.02.23

    Pastor Craig eventually saw the light. He is a Howie Guy no more.

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