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Ind. Candidate Hits Ballot Change Snag

Kealey Bultena

South Dakota’s Independent candidate for governor has announced a new running mate.  Mike Myers says registered Republican Lora Hubbel is his pick for the Lieutenant Governor spot.

Hubbel ran in the Republican primary against the sitting governor, Dennis Daugaard. She replaces Caitlin Collier who bowed out of the race due to a family health problem.

Myers says Hubbel is officially part of the independent ticket, but her name might not make it on the ballot.

South Dakota law allows political party leaders to replace candidates who withdraw from the race as long as it happens by August deadlines. But being an Independent candidate means you aren’t part of a political party, and that’s where Mike Myers’ problem arises. No state law allows an Independent candidate to replace a running mate.

Myers says his former lieutenant governor pick has a legitimate reason for leaving the ticket, and he should be able to select a new candidate. He says Secretary of State Jason Gant tells him the law doesn’t allow the change on the ballot.

"It will be Caitlin Collier’s name. Let’s think about that, Caitlin Collier’s name will appear on the ballot! So when people walk into that box, they go Myers-Caitlin Collier after Gant’s already received and certified the withdrawal," Myers says.

Myers’ campaign says independents should have the opportunity to replace candidates who step down just like political parties. He says he contests state law and plans to travel to Pierre to talk to the Secretary of State.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).