More speculation about Senator Tim Johnson's possible retirement hit Washington Wednesday.
Both Politico and the National Journal—two large news outlets in Washington, DC—posted articles today speculating about Senator Johnson's retirement and the possibility of his son following in his footsteps.
Senator Johnson says he will announce whether or not he will retire this spring. If he does choose to retire, many are speculating that his son Brendan Johnson, South Dakota's U.S. Attorney, many try to win his father's seat in the Senate, but not without some difficulty.
In the Politico article, Republican Senator John Thune shares his thoughts on what South Dakota voters will think of a father-son political legacy.
"They don't like a sense of entitlement. They don't like the whole dynasty concept. They don't like too much power in one or few persons' hands," John Thune said to Politico.
KSFY political analyst Vernon Brown says while there are several South Dakota families with a legacy in politics, it doesn't mean Johnson's son would be a shoe in.
"It would be tough in South Dakota, its not like we have political dynasties like in Massachusetts if you're a Kennedy you're pretty much assumed to win, it doesn't work like that in South Dakota," said Brown.
A fear that voters will disapprove of Brendan's political lineage has both articles speculating that many South Dakota Democrats will be more in favor of former Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, hoping she will be able to keep the Senate seat with the Democratic Party if up against former Republican Governor Mike Rounds.
"Whoever is chosen and is nominated to run on the democratic ticket for this seat should Senator Johnson resign is going to have a tough go at it. Historically, whatever party the president is in a mid term election, that party suffers," said Brown.
But South Dakota's Democratic Party Chairmen Ben Nesselhuf says he believes South Dakota voters will want to hold onto their sole Democratic Congressional seat.
"I think that whatever our candidate is, we're going to hold the senate seat. I think that South Dakotans appreciate the need for some diversity within our Congressional Delegation," said Nesselhuf.
These articles show Senator Johnson's potential retirement would not only be a big deal for South Dakota, but on the National Scale as well.
The Democrats hold a slight majority in the Senate, so even if Johnson decides to run again, we can expect to see a long and fierce campaign battle in South Dakota and for a Senate seat in any state.
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