Huron, SD (KELO-AM) Politics mixed with corn dogs, ferris wheels and 4-H exhibits at the South Dakota State Fair as both the gubenatorial and senate candidates clashed in campaign debates on Friday.
The three-way gubenatorial debate was a relatively low key affair. Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard defended the budget cuts he made during the recession in 2011. Democrat Susan Wismer called the cuts unnecessary. Independent Mike Myers kept insisting that legalizing industrialized hemp would help the state's economy.
In the senate debate, Democrat Rick Weiland wasted no time going after Republican frontrunner Mike Rounds, using part of his opening statement to blast Rounds for accepting big money from out of state. Rounds and Weiland disagreed on everything from Health Care to Immigration. Rounds called Weiland's proposal to make Medicare available to everyone "a terrible idea."
Independent Gordon Howie called himself a Christian Conservative who would bring those values to Washington. 72-year-old Independent Larry Pressler claimed that Senators spend 50% of their time raising money for re-election but he would give 100% of his time to the job, pledging to serve only one term.
Both debates were sponsored by the South Dakota Farmers Union.