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June 03, 2014

The Senate Race That Slipped Away from Democrats

National Journal: "The Senate race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson could have been one of the most consequential contests in the country, if Democrats had a little more luck. Just over a year ago, the political talk in South Dakota centered on which of their up-and-coming prospects would run--former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, one of the most popular figures in the state after representing it for three full terms in the House, or Tim Johnson's son Brendan Johnson, who's serving as a U.S. attorney."

"As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee tried to engineer the situation to their advantage--they preferred Herseth Sandlin to the more-liberal Johnson, and wanted to avoid a contentious primary--the party's worst-case scenario materialized. Johnson first expressed his disinterest in May 2013, leaving the door wide open for the former congresswoman to run. At the same time Johnson made his decision, Weiland announced his candidacy with support from some Johnson allies."


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