Here I thought Shantel Krebs was the South Dakota Republican Party's hero, or at least their dutiful heavy, for uprooting the scandalously incompetent Jason Gant from the 2014 candidates' garden. But now some Republicans sound like they want to throw her back in the dirt and run someone with experience for the job: Deputy Secretary of State Patricia Miller.
Miller, the wife of former governor Walter Dale Miller, joined Gant's office in 2012 to clean up the mess left by Gant and his less-capable pals. The Miller SoS office has been relatively trouble-free compared to the first two years of Gant's machinations.
Rumblings of discontent with Krebs's grab for the big chair and an effort to draft Pat Miller to run for full-bird Secretary come from the Dakota War College comment section. I lend little credence to what I read there, but DWC author Pat Powers takes his own comments seriously enough to post a response from SDGOP chairman Craig Lawrence that further fans the former First Lady's flames:
I talked with Pat Miller several times both before and after the dinner. She is, obviously, considering running for SOS, and asked my opinion. I also enjoyed talking with Walter Dale, a great statesman and ambassador for West River.
The opinion I have offered to Pat is that I encourage her to run because as Republicans we should be gratified when we have two such qualified and respected candidates. My job is to encourage debate and healthy competition [Craig Lawrence, quoted in Pat Powers, "State Party Chair Weighs in on [another four-line headline that demonstrates Pat's continued incapacity for succinctity]," Dakota War College, 2014.03.24].
Debate and healthy competition: I'm all for that too, Chairman Lawrence! Pat Miller offers the strongest alternative that anyone could to a Krebs candidacy. The Deputy Secretary can appeal to Republicans who may recall that things didn't work out so well the last time they picked an aspiring legislator over an experienced elections officer for Secretary of State. Miller could soothe Republicans' jitters, offering a break from Gant yet continuity with operations and with party history. As frosting to drown the taste of Krebs's perhaps bitter intra-party challenge to Gant, she gives GOP convention delegates a chance to vote for a nice older lady and tip their hats to that nice old codger Walter Dale.
If I were Krebs, I'd be intensely lobbying delegates to not draft Miller, because Miller poses a serious threat to Krebs' statewide ascension.