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Johnson Kicks Off Congressional Campaign

Lee Strubinger

A candidate for South Dakota’s lone US House seat is kicking off his campaign with three stops in the state.

Former Public Utilities Commission head, and one-time chief-of-staff for Governor Dennis Daugaard, Dusty Johnson, says he wants to change the tone in Washington.

Johnson says the political rhetoric in the country does not lend itself to getting things done.

Johnson is poising himself to run an optimistic campaign for next year, leading up to the 2018 June primary.

He admits it’s a style that most candidates don’t take.

“If I was a great politician I would probably come across with a more cynical and bitter message.  That seems to work these days. People hate Washington D.C. and they like their elected officials to hate Washington D.C.," Johnson says. "The reality is is I think I will be a much better congressman that I will be a candidate because I’m just not interested in only telling people what they want to hear. I’m an optimistic guy. I think our country has tremendous problems, but that they can all be solved by working together.”

Johnson ran a similarly optimistic campaign vying for Public Utilities Commissoner in 2010.

Johnson is kicking off his campaign by making three stops in one day across South Dakota.  He’s making stops in Rapid City, then Mitchell and Sioux Falls.

Johnson is running against Secretary of State Shantel Krebs to replace Kristi Noem in Congress. Noem is leaving the House to run for Governor next year.