Weiland Anticipates Tough Race For US Senate
by Jill Johnson
May 09, 2013 6:07 PM
It was last year that former Gov. Mike Rounds announced he was running for U.S. Senate in 2014. On Wednesday, he finally learned who his opponent "could" be. Madison native Rick Weiland announced he plans to seek the Democratic Party's nomination.
Weiland said, "I have to admit it's a pretty sudden development in our lives."
Fifty-four-year-old Weiland has taken many South Dakotans by surprise. He ever so quietly announced he is seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to run for the United States Senate in 2014.
Weiland said, "I never really expected to be here talking to you today (Thursday) about my campaign run for United States Senate."
Many thought it would be U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson who would be looking to take over his father, Sen. Tim Johnson's seat. But Weiland said he made his decision once he thought Johnson's announcement wasn't going to happen.
"The last time I talked to him was late last week I sensed from Brendan, when I talked to him that he was really focused on being our U.S. Attorney," said Weiland.
Up until now, we haven't heard much from the father of five since 2002. Then, he was running for the Democratic Party's nomination for the U.S. House, but was defeated by former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. He also ran and lost the same race back in 1996 to now Sen. John Thune.
But Weiland says this is what makes him a good candidate. He's learned from his loses.
"It's a hard thing to be completely ready for, but this isn't my first rodeo. I feel like the fact that I've been in it before is a real asset," said Weiland.
The former staff member to former Sen. Tom Daschle says he's running simply because our government is broken.
Weiland said, "I really believe that ordinary, working class families need a strong and effective voice in our government and I'm hoping that I can be that voice."
Knowing that he'll be facing some tough competition.
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is expected to announce whether she will be running in 2014 by the end of the month.