Political Journalists talk about the 2014 election - KOTA Territory News

Political Journalists talk about the 2014 election


Senator Tim Johnson's retirement announcement was bittersweet for political reporters Denise Ross and Kevin Woster.

"Even as a reporter it was a sense of sadness because this is the Johnson era ending," said Woster.

"The feeling I had as someone who's covered Tim Johnson for over a decade now it was a little bit bitter sweet. He's leaving and all of sudden you realize that South Dakota's about to lose another political institution," said Ross.

Senator Johnson's retirement paves the way for the first open South Dakota Senate race with no incumbent since 1978.

"It's certainly exciting for republicans because they've got an opportunity to completely dominate everything. I would think the democrats see this as a challenging time, yet another challenging time for a party who's been challenged for the last 30 plus years," said Woster.

Another challenging time as experts point to South Dakota as the Republican's best chance to pick up a Senate seat.

"The republican's– the Senate is within reach for them. And if they can elect a republican from South Dakota that gets them much closer to taking over the body," said Ross.

And Ross says with that at stake:

"It's really important for the democrats to run a competitive race," said Ross.

"If people ask me who are the shining lights for the Democratic Party its Brendan Johnson and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin," said Woster.

Both Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Brendan Johnson haven't thrown their name in the race yet; but Ross says it may be only a matter of time.

"The pressure to run is too great for Democrats not to run," said Ross.

"But do they see Daugaard as weak enough to be challenged with a real serious candidate or do you focus on the senate and house race," said Woster.

Both Woster and Ross agree the 2014 race will be one to watch.

"We've got a wide open senate seat, a former governor, a former congresswoman, a protégée son, I mean you have all these great dynamics, it's going to be very hard fought and as I said, we should all buckle up and get ready for a tough ride," said Ross.


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