Now there are seven. Another candidate has announced plans to enter the race for Senator Tim Johnson's seat in the U.S. Senate.
Former state lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate Gordon Howie said Friday that he wants to make sure voters have a true conservative choice on the November ballot.
He is entering the race as an Independent but said he will step down if Stace Nelson wins the Republican primary. But if former Governor Mike Rounds, who is favored to win the nomination, wins the primary, Howie said conservative Republicans will have an option.
While Howie has taken some heat recently for illegally shooting a mountain lion, he said it shouldn't hurt his chances for victory.
"I think people are not looking for perfection, they're looking for principal. And when someone has a strong principled record of conservative voting and conservative positions, I think that's going to go a long way in South Dakota," Howie said.
Howie needs to submit 3,200 valid signatures to the Secretary of State by April 25th to get on the ballot.
Howie served four terms in the State House and two terms in the State Senate before his unsuccessful bid for governor in 2010.
Former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler is also running on the Independent ticket. Rick Weiland is the only Democrat. The Republican candidates are former governor Mike Rounds, Sioux Falls physician Annette Bosworth, Yankton attorney and Army Reserves Major Jason Ravnsborg and state lawmakers Larry Rhoden, of Union Center, and Stace Nelson, of Fulton.