With slightly more than a week left before the June 5th democratic primary, candidates continue to cross the state.
“One thing we agree on is that Noem will be a one-term Congresswoman,” Matt Varilek said.
For months now Jeff Barth and Matt Varilek have crossed South Dakota with that message. Sure they are opponents, but they have a bigger one in mind, that’s freshman congresswoman Kristi Noem.
“She's looking us in the eye today and saying she wants a balanced budget. She's spending more money and cutting our income,” Barth said.
“People are looking for leaders who are looking to work well with others and try to find solutions to issues we all care about,” Varilek said. “Whether we're Republican, Democrat, or Independent, and with Noem, we get something different. We get the concept of my way or the highway so often.”
But make no mistake, Varilek and Barth have their own differences too.
Friday's crowd asked them how they would control what they see as a ballooning budget and increased spending in Washington. Barth says he won't raise taxes.
“Right now is not the time to jack up taxes. Right now is not the time to layoff. We have to find jobs for 25 million Americans we don't have them,” Barth said.
He says that will ultimately mean more tax dollars in the federal coffers. Varilek believes in a more balanced approach between taxes and other stimuli.
“If you take a cuts only approach, which is what you see from Noem, then you've cut so deeply into things that help us grow,” Varilek said.
The two call themselves campaign friends, but they're challengers too.
In just over a week, voters will choose one candidate who will focus solely on his republican rival.
Both Barth and Varilek say they will continue to cross the state this week.