Dave Kranz begins the speculation for the upcoming 2008 and 2010 elections in a piece in this mornings Argus Leader.
Much of Kranz' speculation in the article revolves around the Governor's chair and includes possible candidates and situations including the idea that Mike Rounds might run against Tim Johnson in 2008. That idea has been floating around for months and had even been publicized during the just completed election cycle.
Rounds has tried to downplay this speculation going as far as saying he has just participated in his last run for public office but many in South Dakota's GOP are already floating the idea of Dennis Daugaard, the current Lt. Governor, taking over for Rounds and then running as the incumbent in 2010. This scenario has been debated at length but what is really interesting is the names being floated around on the Democratic side.
The obvious name is Scott Heidepriem, whose party switch and meteoric rise to Democratic Senate leader has many thinking his next major task would be a run for governor. The other name which would surprise me is Stephanie Herseth. Kranz plays up the 3 generational card noting that her grandfather was governor and her father came close to winning that job and believes that she would be willing to be the next Herseth to make a run in 2010.
I have no doubt that Herseth would be an excellent candidate for the Democrats but I have a hard time believing she would be willing to give up a so far very successful US House career to take a stab at a state job. Most politicians aspire to move up the political ladder and I would think if Herseth wished to change job titles, US Senator would be more her style.
Bill Janklow went that route and the speculation is that Mike Rounds is looking to make that move as well. Would family history be enough to steer Herseth towards Pierre in the not to distant future? I wouldn't think so but there must be something to the rumor as her name keeps popping up. Is it a possibility, or is it just wishful thinking on the part of South Dakota Democrats who haven't seen anyone from the party in the governor's mansion in quite awhile? I guess time will tell.