Could Billie Sutton pull off the governor’s race?

My only interview with Sutton. Afterwards I told people, “He is one sharp cookie!”

Well, if I were a betting man, I would still give the win to Noem, but a lot can change in a month.

First the negatives. Billie has an uphill battle on several fronts;

• He’s a Democrat. Though he tries to bill himself as a conservative Republican loving moderate independent, he still has a ‘D’ behind his name, and in governor races that hasn’t worked well in almost 50 years. He also has a HUGE gap to close. I believe by last counts there are 97,000 more registered Republicans in the state than Democrats. He also will have to work with a mostly Republican majority in the legislature (even though I think the Dems will pick up more seats in the mid terms). I also think that Seilor has a good chance of winning AG (that one is tight to) if they BOTH can pull it off and Republican voters also have similar confidence in that team, it can close the gap.

• He’s a tax raising Democrat. Not true at all. While Billie did vote for the half-penny tax increase for supposed teacher pay, it wasn’t his idea at all. It was the Governor’s with the help of Republican legislators. I actually railed on Billie for supporting it because he had a better idea and should have pushed it. It would have raised sales taxes a full penny, but here’s the kicker; it would have included eliminating a lot of exemptions special interest groups now have with sales taxes, it would have included a massive property tax cut, it would have eliminated the food tax AND it would have been written into law that the money HAS to go to teacher pay and NOTHING else. While I am disappointed in Billie for voting for the Republican tax increase, it really wasn’t his plan or idea. That tax increase can only be attributed to Republicans who have slowly chipped away at it taking money from teacher pay increases. (Side note; this is why you should vote NO on IM 25, it is not dedicated to tech schools, just a suggestion.)

But let’s look at Noem’s negatives, she has quite a few, ironically NOT much of it is her fault;

• She’s a woman, and say what you will about that, there has NEVER been a woman for governor in SD. I’m not saying the fine pigs in the Republican party will vote for Sutton because of this, I just think they won’t vote at all. I also believe that to be the case of people who supported Jackley. If Sutton can garner a large majority of independents and have a lot of under votes from Republicans he could squeak by.

But let’s look at Noem’s obvious problem, she is a do nothing legislator. She did nothing in Pierre and hardly anything in DC. And by not debating Sutton at all so far she is proving she has NO record to fight on.

While I still think the ‘Republican Light’ strategy Sutton is using is silly, at the end of the day it may work. But if he does win, it won’t be because of that strategy but because a lot of Republicans really don’t care for Noem.



#1 JKC on 10.06.18 at 12:36 pm

The one thing that a lot of people are not admitting is that Sutton may, or will, benefit from a misogynistic attitude by some voters, who are especially, rural, West River, and men, who do not want a woman to be our governor, and is that really how we want to elect someone governor with a “D” behind his name?

And while this has been a campaign defined by whether a given candidate is “cowboy enough,” it will in its eventually be determined by who is more urban. This race for obvious reasons will be close and the people who decide this race will live in Sioux Falls and more percisely in northern Lincoln County. It’s the crowd I like to dub the “Taupe Housing Society of Conformity” crowd.

Generally, Democrats only poll about 25 to 35% in that area, but if Sutton gets 40% or even say 45% in that area, then he will be the next governor. I am already confident that Sutton will carry most of the rural counties as did Lar Herseth in ’86, but Herseth loss that race to Mickelson that year in urban counties like Minnehaha, and if Sutton wants to win, he needs to spend all of his time in Minnehaha from now on and minus the hat I might add.

With both Bjorkman and Sutton, the Democrats in this state are led by right of center candidates, and I know where it will lead us if they both lose, but where will it put us if one or both win? Because I am of the school of thought that their campaigns have been at a great cost to us as a Party. We are throwing out the dishes with the dishwater in an attempt to win. Their candidacies and impact upon our party are analagous to what happen to the national Democratic Party in 1990s under Clinton and his “Democratic Leadership Council” agenda. Fore, Clinton’s agenda back then gave us NAFTA, which in time gave us Trump, or better yet, Bill defeated Hillary for Trump, because the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton began to abandon its economic principles for short term electoral gain, which I is what I am afraid is now happening with Bjorkman and Sutton. But these two candidates, Bjorkman and Sutton, are abandoning our social agenda instead as a Party by being pro-NRA, anti-choice, running a Republican as a Democrat, and playing the Christian card. So in its entirety, do we want to be a political party that benefits from misogyny, is pro-NRA, anti-choice, and suggests that one has to be a Christian?

I know many Democrats just want a win and would love to have someone like me just shut-up until after the election, but these races, and especially the Sutton one, reminds me of an article I read back in the Spring of ’92. It was either a WSJ or NYT article, I can’t remember, but the jest of the article was that Democrats were coalescing behind Clinton because they just wanted a win even though Clinton was pro-death penalty, a southerner, and appeared to be soft on unions. Well, does that sound familiar or what? I am afraid Democrats in South Dakota are doing this once again at the state level and even if we win, what will we have won but elections, especially at the state level, that have a track record of appeasing to Republicans in Pierre, and with that track record why would the voters ever see the Democratic Party as a credible alternative in the future?…. And so, how do the races in ’18 helps us down the road, if a political party is suppose to stand for anything and use those beliefs as its lasting kinentic energy?

As far as the constitutional races, well, I think that Sutton has to get 55% of the vote before they are in play, but I would be surprised if that happens…

#2 JKC on 10.06.18 at 3:49 pm

I am but an idiot, whatever happen to my WordSpell?…..
“eventuality,” “precisely,” “analogous,” “remind,” “something,” and “kinetic” (Are there any others?)….. I am afraid, I type and publish too soon (Perhaps then, Sutton and Bjorkman have nothing to worry about (But the people should)….Never mine… 😉 )

#3 JKC on 10.06.18 at 3:54 pm

“Mine?” 🙁

#4 George on 10.06.18 at 8:08 pm

97,000 votes is a lot to overcome.

Early voting seems strong for Republicans, but not sure if all the GOP is voting Kristi…I hear many say they are not voting for Governor but voting straight GOP after that. That helps Billie but not enough; he has to sway GOP people to vote FOR him. With this whole Kavanaugh thing, I just don’t see it.

So I don’t see Seiler or any other Dem having much of a chance, plus Sutton and Bjorkman are trying to run as conservative Dems /Republican Lite—Seiler is a flat out liberal, no chance!, plus he is way too old, and no way are all those Republicans voting for multiple Dems. Dems need to focus all in on Billie to win.

Kristi’s smartest move would be to get Jackley to endorse her and show the fences are mended.

#5 Warren Phear on 10.06.18 at 8:34 pm

Could he? YES

#6 D@ily Spin on 10.06.18 at 10:48 pm

Sutton gave me a bad impression when he was on a panel while I was in Pierre. A cowboy close minded governor doesn’t appeal to me. Noem was my choice but things have come to light (especially her religion) I don’t agree with. At this point I’ll leave this ballot choice blank or black out both so there’s a hanging chad (FL Bush-Gore) problem.

#7 scott on 10.07.18 at 4:40 pm

is kirsti a closet muslim?

#8 White Panther on 10.07.18 at 8:22 pm

Kristi Noem had Trump come to SF and folks had to $5000 to see him. That really goes against the values most people here have. Also she now gets tied up in Trump’s controversies. Sutton seems like a decent man and is a good South Dakota cowboy. This tie in the poils does is not a big surprise.

#9 dan on 10.08.18 at 2:02 pm

Did not know of any religious issues with Noem. I will say the Trump visit put me over the top and I will vote for Billie. I do not believe that taxpayers should help Kristi with her fundraising. Hope I do not get a fund raising call from her…..She surely knows not to solicit funds from anyone she did not invite to the Trump visit. One thing about Billie, it is very hard to donate to his campaign. The site either keeps timing out, or does not process donations to start with. He may need to check on that. Will be a close race.

#10 l3wis on 10.08.18 at 2:10 pm

You mean you didn’t know she used to go to that church where they speak in tongues and flop around on the floor like fish. Look it up, fun stuff.

#11 The Guy from Guernsey on 10.09.18 at 12:54 pm

Suggest that you donate to Billie’s campaign the old fashioned way – write and mail a check to the campaign. Enclose a piece of paper on which you include the information necessary for the campaign finance report.
I did this for a local Dem candidate for a state legislative seat who I chose to support. The candidate website directed to ActBlue (an organization which I did not wish to support). I mailed a check instead.

#12 The Guy from Guernsey on 10.09.18 at 12:54 pm

And could he? Yes. Yes, he can.