S.D. governor deciding whether to run for Congress - against former senator in his own party - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

S.D. governor deciding whether to run for Congress - against former senator in his own party

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) _ In a state with a population so small it has only one U.S. House seat to fill, residents could find themselves choosing between their longest serving governor and a former senator who spent 22 years on Capitol Hill.

And that's just to pick the Republican candidate.

Gov. Bill Janklow will announce Tuesday whether he intends to run for Congress, his spokesman said Saturday.

If he does run, he will face former Sen. Larry Pressler, a fellow Republican who lost his seat in 1996. The incumbent House member, Republican John Thune, has his sights on the Senate and a high-stakes race against Democrat Tim Johnson that could determine which party controls the Senate.

It could add up to one of the biggest elections South Dakota has seen in years.

The state's term limits prevent Janklow from running again for governor this fall. If he says no to a congressional bid, he could return to private law practice, spokesman Bob Mercer said.

But in Washington, the Republican National Committee has already been told Janklow will enter the race, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported Saturday.

Mercer said Saturday he hadn't seen the report and couldn't comment.

Joel Rosenthal, chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party, said Janklow hadn't talked to him about the decision. Still, Rosenthal said, ``I believe there's strong indications that the governor's going to announce that he's going to be a candidate for U.S. Congress.''

Janklow, who was governor from 1979 to 1986 and returned to the office in 1995, has said the key question for him is whether he can make a difference as a congressman on issues such as agriculture, trade and special education.

Five other Republicans, including Pressler, are already running in the June 4 primary. The winner will face the Democratic nominee Nov. 5. Among the Democrats expected to run: the state treasurer, a former Federal Emergency Management Agency official, and the granddaughter of a former governor.


On the Net:

Janklow: state.sd.us

Pressler: presslerforcongress.com

Thune: johnthune.house.gov

Johnson: www.senate.gov
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