Senator John Thune wants to turn the page on electoral fraud allegations – some in South Dakota are not ready
But not the political fixation of a stolen election lingering in his own party.
“I want our mid-term message to be about the kinds of things the American people are facing,” Thune said. told CNN earlier this month, “do not plead the 2020 election.”
Yet the political quagmire of early January lives on for many in the returning GOP in South Dakota.
Thursday evening, May 27, speaking with about 30 people on a South Dakota Republican Women’s Federation Zoom call, freshman from Colorado, USA Representative Lauren Boebert sowed more doubt about the 2020 election, recounting his conversations with former President Donald Trump about his political future.
“And he [Trump] says, “Lauren, I’m going to have to win a third election,” “Boebert recalled.” We are all for it, Mr. President. “
An event organizer billed Boebert’s invitation as proof of the “big tent” in the GOP. And although this tent is stretched out, it is not torn yet.
A recent survey of Republican voters in the state of The SDSU survey found that Thune scores 62 out of 100 on a so-called ‘sentiment thermometer’, a lower rating than Governors Kristi Noem (77) and Trump (71), but still strong with nearly 2/3 of voters who can vote in a primary next summer.
Since Democrats narrowly won a majority in the Senate, Thune – who came close to blame Trump, at least in part, for the Capitol riots Jan. 6 – criticized the Biden administration for Cancellation of Keystone XL pipeline license and consider expanding the membership of the Supreme Court. But he also co-sponsored broadband legislation with New Hampshire. Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan and posted on social media about productive conversations with Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg on the evolution of essential air service providers in the regional airports of Pierre and Watertown, SD
As discussions revolved around whether Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell could retire, Thune was mentionned as potentially taking over for the Republican first place in the US Senate.
“Thune would clearly be the logical successor to Mitch McConnell, although McConnell seems to enjoy the job and it is impossible to know how long he plans to stay there,” said Drey Samuelson, former chief of staff to the former Democratic colleague. from Thune, Senator Tim Johnson. He noted that Thune’s toughest competition could be Sen. John cornyn from Texas.
Back home, even though a candidate has Camp Trump backing, Samuelson said he was “quite skeptical” that anyone could beat Thune.
Troubadour challenges Thune
Still, Thune – who is due for re-election in 2022 – could likely face a challenge at home.
Earlier this month, longtime Black Hills political novice and country troubadour Mark Mowry set up a website and announced he would challenge Thune in a Republican primary.
Mowry, who did not respond to multiple interview requests, positioned himself through his website and social media as skeptical of the presidential election results and the events of January 6.
Mowry has also ruffled feathers in the South Dakota music community. Sioux Falls musician last summer Thomas hentges posted a a message de Mowry on his Facebook page in which Mowry berated Hentges for supporting the protests following the murder of George Floyd. In the note, Mowry called the musician “discontented” and accused him of “carrying all your grievances on the sleeve” and praying that “the light of God will shine on you in the future.”
Contacted by Forum News Service, Hentges remembered the exchange well.
“It was honestly so bad that I considered reaching out to loved ones,” Hentges said, calling the message “out of the blue.”
For the state’s senior senator, more challengers may still appear out of the blue as the main date approaches. A spokeswoman for the South Dakota Secretary of State said no one had yet filed paperwork because petitions could not begin until January 1, 2022.
But if they do, Thune – who hasn’t yet officially announce an attempted re-election – will be ready. According to documents with the Federal Election Commission, the senator retains nearly $ 14 million in the bank.