The undercard: Stace Nelson is challenging Larry Rhoden's paltry signature count. Pat Powers seethes that Nelson is beating up on a "Fellow Republican," but come on! Nelson and Rhoden aren't playing tiddlywinks. Rhoden invited a challenge with his anemic petition effort, submitting 2,144 signatures, less than 10% over the 1,955 GOP nominating petition requirement. Larry, what campaign consultant told you less than 10% was all the cushion you needed... and why have you not fired that consultant?
The main event: Larry Pressler walks into the Secretary of State's office, looks at Rhoden's pile of signatures, and says, "That's not a petition; this is a petition." The SOS office wouldn't tell me the number yesterday (what am I, chopped liver?), but they tell the Pierre Capital Journal that Pressler handed Deputy Secretary of State Patricia Miller 4,136 signatures. Independents need 3,171 signatures to make the ballot. Pressler thus has a 30%-plus cushion. Big cushion? For Pressler, that's darn-near a whoopee! cushion.
I might say whoopee! too, if Pressler weren't buying his signatures. Pressler hired Emmett Reistroffer to put together another corps of paid signature seekers. Reistroffer is pretty good at such work... except when he's not, and he blows 35% of a customer's signatures with one simple legal mistake.
Hmm... maybe both Larrys will face a petition challenge. But with Pressler saying he's going to bring in another 2,000 or so by the Indy deadline of April 29, it seems pretty likely we'll have one Larry on the Senate ballot this fall.