Larry Pressler on Principles & Values

Former Republican Senator (SD)


Former three-term Senator; ran for president in 1980

South Dakota Democrats are playing a tough hand in the Senate race, but they thought they could count on a wild card --former Sen. Larry Pressler--to help the contest break their way. Pressler seems to have other plans.

Republicans, who once worried Pressler would peel off support from Rounds, now see his campaign as advantageous to them. Pressler "is a respected former senator who's trying to run on issues the Democratic candidate is running on," said a senior adviser to South Dakota Republicans.

This is not Pressler's first quixotic stab at public office. He served three terms in the Senate before losing his seat in 1996, mused about running for mayor of Washington, D.C., and ran a 106-day bid for president in the 1980 election. But Pressler still boasts strong name identification in the state --enough to impact the race.

Source: Rollcall e-zine on 2014 South Dakota Senate race , Jul 24, 2014

Non-conventional independent campaign to influence debate

Larry Pressler's bid for Senate as an independent won't look like your traditional campaign. "It would be a non-conventional campaign, a very low-budget," he replied. "I don't know if I'd be able to hire anybody." He said his campaign is running on an "idealistic concept".

It's unclear how much heartburn an underfunded, former Republican who backed President Barack Obama in 2008 would cause for the GOP--especially with national Democrats still in search of a top-tier candidate. But Pressler hopes his campaign would serve as a conversation-starter and at least influence the debate in the race.

Most of all, Presser said he's "disturbed" by the paralysis of the political system and the inability of Congress to strike a "grand bargain" on the budget.

Source: Rollcall.com "Comeback Bid": 2014 South Dakota Senate race , Nov 14, 2013

1978: first Vietnam veteran elected to the Senate

After serving four years in the House, Pressler in 1978 became the first Vietnam veteran elected to the Senate and went on to serve three terms. Johnson defeated Pressler by 2 points in 1996.

A Rhodes Scholar and Harvard-educated attorney, Pressler said he's spent a lot of time teaching overseas since leaving Capitol Hill, including in China, India, France and Italy. He's kept a home in South Dakota, where he's currently spending the semester teaching at the University of Sioux Falls.

Source: Rollcall.com "Comeback Bid": 2014 South Dakota Senate race , Nov 14, 2013

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Larry Pressler on other issues:
SD Gubernatorial:
Dennis Daugaard
Kristi Noem
Marty Jackley
SD Senatorial:
Gordon Howie
Mike Rounds
Rick Weiland

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Retiring in 2014 election:

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
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