Mike Rounds running for the Senate? Old news, minutes after he made the first of three announcements that he is in it to win it in 2014.
Sen. Tim Johnson responded with a release, calling “Mike” a friend, saying several nice things about him — and then saying he plans to run, too.
“As in past campaigns, I will make my formal announcement later next year,” he said. “But I feel great, still have work to do, and I fully intend to put together a winning campaign in the weeks and months ahead.”
Johnson turns 66 next month, uses a wheelchair and a cane, and has impaired speech, the legacies of his 2006 brain bleed. But he is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and has repeatedly said he feels sharp and ready to tackle the issues.
He’s also never lost a race, winning four for the Legislature, five for Congress and three for the Senate. If he does what he said today, and runs for a fourth term, he will offer Rounds a stiff challenge.
Here is the whole statement:
I consider Mike a friend, and I welcome him to the race. I had an excellent working relationship with him during his eight years as Governor, and the fact that he has already re-stated his refusal to take the Grover Norquist “no tax increases under any circumstances” pledge is a very good sign.
Our country faces a real fiscal dilemma, and tax increases on the wealthy absolutely have to be a part of the solution. While I’m sure that Mike and I will have some policy disagreements – which is to be expected – I am more than willing to give credit where it is due. And the fact that Mike realizes that it is irresponsible to take tax increases off the negotiating table is absolutely to his credit.
As in past campaigns, I will make my formal announcement later next year. But I feel great, still have work to do, and I fully intend to put together a winning campaign in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, I intend to continue to focus on my important work representing South Dakota.