Weiland Receives Support From Sen. Johnson
by Rachel Skytta, Reporter
September 14, 2013 5:08 PM
Sen. Tim Johnson has officially announced his support for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland in the November 2014 election.
As the comletion of his third term in the U.S. Senate approaches, Johnson is looking to pass the torch. Weiland hopes it will be to him.
"The hunger out there for the people of our state to really connect with their hopefully future senator. I think that's the reason Tim is supporting this campaign," said Weiland.
Weiland has known Johnson for decades. On Sept. 12, Johnson announced that he will be backing Weiland in the 2014 election.
Although the two have known each other for several decades, Weiland does not think friendship is the reason Johnson is publicly supporting him.
"It's all about my efforts to take on big money. Not let big money buy this election. But to go out there and earn it by going door-to-door, town-to-town, talk to voters," said Weiland.
Many South Dakotans were hoping Johnson's son, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson would try to take his father's seat. Weiland says he doesn't think people were surprised by Johnson backing him, since Brendan had already indicated that he would not be running.
Weiland says he is obviously the underdog in this campaign. Former Gov. Mike Rounds is thought to be the front runner among several Republican candidates, including Stace Nelson, and Larry Rhoden. However, Weiland believes he'll favor well as the sole democratic candidate.
"Tim Johnson was an underdog early on in his political career very much so. He went out there and earned it the hard way," said Weiland.
With the support of Johnson, Weiland hopes he too can earn enough votes for a victory.
Weiland plans to visit all 311 communities in South Dakota throughout his campaing. So far, he has traveled to more than 135 across the state.