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Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin Decides Not To Run For U.S. Senate

Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin
(Photo from @StephanieforSD on Twitter)

Former South Dakota U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin says she will not seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tim Johnson.

Herseth Sandlin announced her decision on her Facebook page Monday morning and confirmed it to The Associated Press. She says she wants to focus on her family and her job as an attorney and vice president for Raven Industries.

Now that Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin has announced her intentions to shutter a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2014, we move forward.  That dusty trail which beckons is pocked with uncertainty regarding how the political races will form over the next year and a half.

Did Rick Weiland contact Ms. Herseth-Sandlin prior to the announcement?

South Dakota’s Democratic Party Chair Ben Nusselhuf spoke of the organization’s strength after Weiland made his announcement.  Do those words still resonate?

Does Stephanie bowing out put Brendan Johnson back in play?  He could still challenge Weiland or possibly make a U.S. House bid.

Will Kristi Noem challenge Mike Rounds?  If so, does she make an announcement before year’s end?  Extending that line of questioning a little further, does a Senate run for Noem open up a run for house for Herseth-Sandlin?

One thing cannot be disputed despite abounding uncertainty.  This two-year span from Election Day 2012 through Decision 2014 will be one of, if not the most intriguing in South Dakota’s history.

NEXT: NOEM COULD BE STATESMAN

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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