Larry Pressler running for U.S. Senate as Independent - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Larry Pressler running for U.S. Senate as Independent

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Larry Pressler announces his bid for US Senate Larry Pressler announces his bid for US Senate

Politics is something most of us avoid talking about with family over the holidays.

Former South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler says he's running for the seat vacated by Senator Tim Johnson.

And this time, the long-time Republican, is running as an Independent.

Pressler says he's sick of the fighting in Washington D.C. He thinks people are fed up with the stalemate between Republicans and Democrats.

Now, he's stepping back into the political arena to hopefully make some changes.

"The defining moment was do I just sit back and enjoy my retirement or do I try to do something about it and there's enough problems that I decided to do something about it," said Pressler.

Pressler says he will only serve one term if elected. He wants to be able to devote all of his time to serving the people of South Dakota. And he cant do that if he's busy raising money.

"This is a tragedy in Washington that campaign funds have become so determinative that people spend half their time raising funds for the next election. Yes, I'm going to win. An independent can win with 35 to 40% of the vote and I think I'm going to win," said Pressler.

Currently there are only two independents in the Senate. SDSU Professor Emeritus Robert Burns says it would be extremely difficult for an independent to win especially in our Republican dominated state.

"I look at it more at how it might shape the outcome of the election rather than whether he might actually win the election," said Burns. 

Burns says whoever becomes the Republican candidate could lose out on votes because of Pressler's long history of being a Republican.

"Those that hold office are being driven to extreme positions by the major contributor groups that support their campaigns. An individual who's pledged to serve one term doesn't have to heed the call of those donors and those interest groups and doesn't have to adopt such extreme views on the left or right but can be more moderate in his or her position or his or her vote," said Burns. 

Pressler is just the latest to announce campaign plans.
Republican candidates include former Gov. Mike Rounds, State Senator Larry Rhoden, State Rep. Stace Nelson, Jason Ravnsborg and Annette Bosworth.

Rick Weiland is the only Democrat to enter the race at this point.


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