Former Governor Mike Rounds ended a period of speculation Thursday. He announced he’s a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. Rounds has more than a decade invested in politics at the state level.
He served two terms as Governor. Democratic Senator Tim Johnson is the incumbent; he has had some health concerns during this senate term. USD political science professor Mike Card says it’s difficult to say whether Johnson will seek re-election.
"I think more of what may be influencing Senator Johnson’s decision to run or not is his own decisions about his personal life. Does he feel that he can complete another term? Is his wife’s health such that it’s time to retire or does he think he’s still got things that he can do? And I think that’s what might be going through his mind. I’m not a mind-reader—I don’t have clairvoyance on this issue. I’m just trying to put myself in his shoes; those would be the things I’m thinking of," says Card.
Johnson’s office released a statement shortly after Rounds made his announcement Thursday morning. The statement reads Johnson won’t make a formal announcement until late next year, but he will spend time putting together his campaign.