SIOUX FALLS, SD -
In the midst of the 2012 campaign season, a former South Dakota governor is already looking ahead to 2014.
Republican Mike Rounds is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Tim Johnson.
Rounds was in Sioux Falls on business, but sounding more and more like a politician on the stump.
"People have got to be looking more at freedom and less at depending on the federal government," Rounds said.
Rounds' political aspirations are a little less up in the air now that he's forming an exploratory committee for a possible 2014 run for U.S. Senate.
"I'm keeping my options open. I have a real interest, not that I want to necessarily go to Washington, D.C., but things just aren't working right there," Rounds said.
Rounds says if he does decide to run and is elected, he'd help untangle the budget mess in Washington.
"Nobody's in charge, nobody's stepping up to the plate to say let's make a deal. Let's figure out how we're going to pay this so that our kids aren't stuck with the bill," Rounds said.
Incumbent Tim Johnson hasn't decided whether he'll seek a fourth term in the Senate. But Rounds says that doesn't matter to him.
"I've never based my decisions to run for public office based on who was in there at the time. I've based it on whether or not I could do a good job," Rounds said.
Rounds expects to make a final decision on a Senate bid after the 2012 elections.
U.S. Senator Tim Johnson's office tells us that Johnson is not commenting about a possible Rounds candidacy.
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