While it wasn't a huge surprise, former South Dakota Governor Mike rounds made it official on Thursday: he will challenge Democrat Tim Johnson in 2014 for his seat in the U.S. Senate. Although Johnson has not yet announced whether he will seek re-election to a fourth term.
Former Governor Mike Rounds says living through last year's Missouri River flooding helped re-ignite his passion.
"We saw the damages caused by mismanagement of a federal agency. Looking at that it kind of put the fire back in my belly again," said Rounds.
A fire to be involved in public policy decisions once again.
"I want to get back in and share what I've learned over 10 years in the legislature and 8 years as governor," Rounds said.
Rounds says there's a lot he wants to change within the system he says is broken.
"I want my grandkids to enjoy being citizens of this country. I don't want them to have to suffer with a burden of debt of 16 trillion dollars that they didn't create," said Rounds.
Rounds says there's a lot he wants to get done; he adds the nation's debt, unemployment and healthcare all need major work.
"I think Obamacare needs to be nearly repealed or almost totally repealed. We can make healthcare better; but it means you have to be competitive," says Rounds.
But if he's sent to Washington D.C., Rounds says there's one thing he won't do.
"What I won't do is forget my South Dakota roots," adds Rounds.
In the meantime Rounds is excited to once again hit the campaign trail.
"The best part of campaigning is meeting people one on one. Visiting with them, listening to them, sharing ideas back and forth sometimes agreeing sometimes disagreeing. But getting actively involved with people so they feel comfortable with how your thought process works," said Rounds.
Rounds was a state senator from 1991 to 2001 before being serving two terms as governor from 2003 to 2011.
After leaving office in early 2011, Rounds returned as President and CEO of an insurance and real estate business that is based in Pierre.