Former U. S. Senator Larry Pressler says he's ready to announce whether or not he plans to make another run for Congress. And Tuesday he took the first step at doing that.
"This is very painful but I'd like to change my party from Republican to Independent," Pressler said.
After contemplating another possible run for U.S. Senate, he officially changed his party affiliation at the Minnehaha County Courthouse.
Don Jorgensen: When you went up to the desk, you said, 'This painful.' Why is it painful?
Pressler: It's very painful, because I've been a Republican for 22 years in Congress. I'm something like Abraham Lincoln, but I'm not comparing myself to him, but he switched from a Whig to a Republican. That was very painful for him he said.
Pressler tells KELOLAND News he's 90 percent sure he'll run. He's been holding several meetings across the state and has received lots of support to run, including a letter from citizens who are asking people to begin collecting the 3,300 signatures necessary so Pressler can run as an Independent. It goes on to say, 'We need your powerful voice back in Washington.'
"I want to go to Washington and be an Independent, join two Independents who are already there. This would be a signal we need to break the deadlock, poisonous deadlock between Republicans and Democrats," Pressler said.
But the 71-year-old Pressler knows winning as an Independent won't be easy.
"It's a very scary thing; I'm much more scared now than I was the first time because I have no money to run with. People think I'm too old; I'm really not. I have a lot of energy in me," Pressler said.
Pressler plans to hold three news conference later this month to make his announcement. The first one will be the day after Christmas at the downtown Holiday Inn in Sioux Falls. Then he'll be in Watertown and Aberdeen the next day.