Interest is into the stratosphere for the soon to be vacated seat currently held by Tim Johnson. 

The Tea Party takes on an Independent label and a virtual unknown walks out of West River to join the fracas that is the race for South Dakota's U.S. Senate seat.

Tuesday, April 29 was deadline day for Independents to file their petitions to be on the ballot for the November elections. Those affiliated with a political party had to file by March 25. Former Republican South Dakota Legislator Gordon Howie of Rapid City will be on the ballot for the U.S. Senate seat in November.  His petitions were certified by Secretary of State Jason Gant.

A late breaking development first told by David Montgomery of the Argus Leader finds one final Independent could be approved as soon as tomorrow.  Clayton Walker who hails from Black Hawk turned in signatures just before the deadline.

Eight candidates are currently racing for a six-year team in the Senior Chamber. Five Republicans will face a primary on June 3. The winner of the primary will then join the remaining three candidates for the general election on November 4.