If South Dakota voters indeed get a three-way (or more) Republican primary for the governor nomination in 2018, the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives might open up too. First, there seems little to no doubt that state Attorney General Marty Jackley of Pierre and state Rep. G. Mark Mickelson of Sioux Falls will be running for the Republican nomination for governor. There seems a solid movement favoring a gubernatorial candidacy by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem of Castlewood in that Republican primary as well. Early prognosticators point to her experience in one statewide primary in 2010 and three general-election campaigns in ’10, ’12 and ’14 as valuable.
A Noem candidacy for governor would throw open the door to the U.S. House seat in the 2018 elections. No one seems to be openly positioning yet, at least not to the point where an actual name surfaces. Getting some attention of late, through her work in Washington, D.C., on the issues involved in charging state and local sales taxes on goods shipped by carriers to South Dakota consumers from companies outside the state, has been state Sen. Deb Peters, R-Hartford. She is in her 11th year as a state legislator and just turned 40 last fall. As a South Dakota leader for the pro-business American Legislative Exchange Council, her conservative credentials seem beyond question on most matters , and she chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. As for Democrats, the question is open who might run for U.S. House in 2016, and whether a run in ’16 would clear the path for the party’s nomination to run again in 2018.