Tags: 2018 Midterm Elections | south dakota | billie sutton | democratic | governor | noem

Could SD Elect Its First Democratic Governor in 44 Years?

billie sutton wears a cowboy hat
 Democratic governor candidate Billie Sutton campaigns at a fair in Sioux Falls, S.D. (AP/James Nord)

By Sunday, 28 October 2018 08:23 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Not since Richard Kneip won his second term in 1974 has South Dakota elected a Democratic governor.  But that is just what might happen in 2018, according to a Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the Argus Leader newspaper and KELO-TV released on Thursday.

In results described by observers on both sides as stunning, Republican Rep. Kristi Noem was tied with Democratic State Sen. Billie Sutton at 45 percent each.  Libertarian Kurt Evans had 1 percent and the remaining 9 percent were undecided.

Stalwart conservative Noem, who would be the first woman governor of the Mount Rushmore State, is running hard on an anti-tax and smaller government agenda.  On the campaign trail and in their first televised debate she repeatedly linked Sutton to Bernie Sanders for his support of legalizing marijuana and other leftist positions.

Styling himself a “moderate,” investment banker and former rodeo star Sutton denies he favors an income tax or supported Bernie Sanders for President in ’16.  Sutton did say he liked Sanders’ ideas of lowering the cost of higher education.

If elected, Sutton, 34, would be the youngest governor in South Dakota history.  Once one of his state’s top rodeo stars, his career ended suddenly when he was thrown from a horse and left paralyzed from the waist down.  If elected, he would be the fourth governor in U.S. history to use a wheelchair (The others were Franklin D. Roosevelt while governor of New York from 1928-32; George Wallace of Alabama, following his shooting in 1972; and present Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who was unable to walk after a tree branch struck him while jogging). 

“Sutton is where he is in the polls because he comes across as moderate,” Leslie Unruh, longtime Republican activist and head of a pro-family pregnancy center, “He calls himself pro-life but he definitely isn’t.  And if Kristi, who is strongly pro-life, can expose his record in the next two weeks, she’ll win.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Not since Richard Kneip won his second term in 1974 has South Dakota elected a Democratic governor. But that is just what might happen in 2018,....
south dakota, billie sutton, democratic, governor, noem
Sunday, 28 October 2018 08:23 AM
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