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Pressler Is Running For U.S. Senate

December 26, 2013, 6:01 PM by Don Jorgensen

Pressler Is Running For U.S. Senate
Larry Pressler

It's been 17 years since he was last in office, but Thursday, former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler made it official and announced he plans to run again in 2014, but this time as an Independent.

"Today I'm announcing I'm running for the U.S. Senate and I intend to win," Pressler said.

In front of a handful of news reporters and supporters, he announced his plans to run for the Senate in 2014 as an Independent.  

The 71-year-old Pressler says he decided to get back in to politics for a number of reasons.  One of which is to try and break the gridlock in Washington.

"I think it's very important that we realize our country is presently strangled with a poisonous dispute between Republicans and Democrats and things are not getting done in Washington," Pressler said.

Pressler wants to fix the Affordable Care Act and is upset with military spending and wants to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

"One of the first things I would do in the Senate, and would get an agreement before I joined a caucus, is to have an immediate withdraw from Afghanistan," Pressler said.

Pressler feels America is ready for an Independent voice and as an Independent, he would be able to work freely with both sides of the aisle to improve our country and fight for South Dakota projects without partisan politics.

Pressler says he could win the Senate race if he captures 35 percent to 40 percent of the vote, but he knows as an Independent, it's going to be an uphill battle when it comes to political fundraising.

"I can't possibly compete on the money front, so I will do my very best, but I will need a lot of volunteers to get the message out," Pressler said.

Pressler plans to make similar announcements Friday in Watertown and Aberdeen followed by one in Rapid City on Monday.

While Pressler is the only Independent running so far, he won't be the only name on the ballot by a long shot. The race for the U.S. Senate seat is already crowded with six other contenders.

The first to officially announce his bid for the Senate seat was former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds. Rounds announced he would run as a Republican candidate in November of last year.

The next candidate is the only Democrat in the race, Rick Weiland. Weiland has worked for South Dakota AARP and as regional director for FEMA. He also owns a small business.

Five months after Weiland, Republican State Senator Larry Rhoden announced his candidacy. Rhoden says he would like to "fight for conservative values in DC." Rhoden was a key supporter of the Sentinel Bill in this past legislative session.

One week after Rhoden's announcement, another Republican candidate came forward. Dr. Annette Bosworth works in Sioux Falls and has been promoting her campaign across the state and in online video ads.

While he initially said he was not going to run, Stace Nelson also announced his bid this year. Nelson is a State Representative and retired NCIS agent.

Most recently another former member of the U.S. military jumped in the race. Now an attorney, Jason Ravnsborg had top secret clearance while working as a Major in a joint intelligence unit in Minneapolis.

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