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Former House Speaker Daugaard's Running Mate

June 17, 2010, 5:56 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Former House Speaker Daugaard's Running Mate
Eight years after Governor Mike Rounds selected him as his running mate, Dennis Daugaard stepped up to the podium Thursday to make his pick for Lieutenant Governor.

The Republican candidate for governor announced Matt Michels as his running mate Thursday morning. 

"I remember a day like this about eight years ago when there was a fella sitting in a side room nervous," Daugaard said.

Matt Michels of Yankton was the nervous guy stepping out of that side room as Daugaard's choice. Michels has his own law firm in Yankton and is an attorney for Avera Health. But he also served eight years in the state legislature and spent half of that time as the Speaker of the House at the same time Daugaard presided over the Senate on the other side of the capitol.

"He would come over and we would discuss procedural matters and substantive issues, and I was always struck by what you see today has not changed," Michels said.

Daugaard says that friendship and Michels' experience in the House of Representatives is what makes him a good fit as Lietutenant Governor. 

"And I also saw him as a legislative leader in negotiation roles, in debating roles and I came to appreciate his intelligence, his emotional maturity and his values," Daugaard said.

And Michels is looking forward to the race he's running with Daugaard to November.

"I'm very humbled to be in service to him and to South Dakotans," Michels said.

Democrats criticized the pick Thursday afternoon saying it ignored South Dakota voters because Michels sponsored the 2006 abortion ban, which voters strongly rejected.

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Heidepreim has chosen Republican Ben Arndt as his running mate.

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