Some South Dakota Republican lawmakers are blasting Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard for endorsing several candidates in next week's primary.
In front of a room filled with members of the media and their own party, Republican state Representatives Manny Steele and Lora Hubbel scolded the governor for publicly supporting candidates in next week's primary.
"He is the executive branch and shouldn't be using his influence to pick people for the legislative branch," Steele said.
Hubbel and Steele claim that many of the candidates being supported by the governor are not conservative enough.
"I have heard there is already pro-life legislation written,” Hubbel said talking about the upcoming legislative session. “Daugaard's response to that is to endorse several pro-abortion candidates to office. Looks like he's making sure no pro-life bills come across his office next year.”
Hubbel is running against Republican state Senator Deb Peters in next week's primary.
Daugaard has endorsed Peters. Peters says she is pro-life and even voted for the 2006 abortion ban. But she admits she has voted against what could be considered pro-life legislation because she takes a more in-depth, common sense approach to the bills she supports.
"There are always two sides to an issue so you can't always look at subject matter or subject line or a title of a bill to make your decision on a vote," Peters said.
Daugaard says he's not trying to tear down other candidates but is simply supporting the ones he knows can get the job done.
The governor believes the Republicans he's endorsing are fiscally disciplined, can collaborate well with other legislators and have a conservative record.
"Most of the candidates I've endorsed have been supported by right-to-life and the NRA. I think if you look at the records or go to the websites of those organizations you'd find that. So, I think some of the folks that make these suggestions are painting with a brush that's too broad," Daugaard said.
Daugaard added that he has a solid pro-life record and an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.
Hubbel and Steele also claimed at Tuesday’s news conference that the governor and the candidates he's endorsed are supporting the federal health care law known as 'Obamacare.'
Peters says even though she does not like the law, the state still has to start complying with the federal law in South Dakota.
If it is overturned by the Supreme Court, there is a so-called 'suicide clause' in the state legislation that would kill the efforts to comply with the law.
The candidates listed in BOLD are the ones the governor has endorsed in the upcoming state senate primary races.
-Val Rausch Big Stone City
-Tim Begalka Clear Lake
-Deb Peters Hartford
-Lora Hubbel Sioux Falls
-Bruce Rampelberg Rapid City
-George Ferebee Hill City
-Tom Nelson Lead
-Bob Ewing Spearfish
-Michael Buckingham Rapid City
-Phil Jensen Rapid City