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S. Dakota Governor Wins GOP Primary for House Seat

Politics: Voters in six other states choose nominees for November congressional, gubernatorial races.

June 05, 2002|From Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In a battle between two of the state's political heavyweights, term-limited Gov. William Janklow easily defeated former Sen. Larry Pressler on Tuesday to win the Republican nomination for South Dakota's lone House seat.

He will face an opponent half his age this fall: Stephanie Herseth, the 31-year-old granddaughter of a former governor, won the Democratic primary over three opponents.

In the night's biggest surprise, former state lawmaker Michael Rounds won the GOP nomination for the open governor's seat by defeating state Atty. Gen. Mark Barnett and wealthy former Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby.

Rounds will face Democrat Jim Abbott this fall.

On the busiest primary day so far, voters in Montana, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico and Alabama also set matchups for November in the race for control of Congress and governors' mansions. All 435 House seats will be at stake, along with 34 of the 100 Senate seats and governorships in 36 states.

Iowa Republican Rep. Greg Ganske overcame a stronger-than-expected challenge from conservative farmer Bill Salier to win the chance to face Democratic incumbent Sen. Tom Harkin in November, while South Dakota and Montana Republicans also selected challengers for Democratic Senate incumbents.

In the Iowa gubernatorial primary, Doug Gross, former chief of staff for former GOP Gov. Terry Branstad, narrowly avoided a runoff and will face Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack in the fall.

In Alabama, Democratic Gov. Donald Siegelman and Republican Rep. Bob Riley easily won their parties' nominations for governor, setting up a showdown Nov. 5 that will focus on education and ethics.

Siegelman brushed aside opponents who had focused on Alabama's sagging economy and an ethics probe of his administration. Riley, a three-term congressman, won a nasty campaign against Lt. Gov. Steve Windom and businessman Tim James, the conservative son of a former governor.

In New Jersey, millionaire businessman Douglas Forrester won the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Robert Torricelli, whose first term has been shadowed by a campaign finance investigation.

"I am here to say to New Jersey that help is on the way," Forrester said in declaring victory to his cheering supporters.

In the state's other big race, conservative state lawmaker Scott Garrett won the GOP primary to succeed Republican Rep. Marge Roukema, who had warned that choosing him might cost the party the seat this fall.

Democrats need to pick up seven seats to take control of the House for the first time since 1995. Garrett is backed by House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas).

Garrett will face ophthalmologist Anne Sumers, a self-proclaimed "Roukema Republican" who rejoined the Democratic Party just this year.

In New Mexico, Democrat Bill Richardson and Republican John Sanchez won gubernatorial bids.

Sanchez, a freshman state lawmaker considered a rising star in the Republican Party, defeated two-term Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley and two other candidates.

The 39-year-old Sanchez will face a well-funded veteran politician with a long resume: Richardson, 54, is a former congressman, Clinton administration official and United Nations ambassador. He faced only a write-in candidate.

There is no incumbent in the race. Republican Gov. Gary Johnson was barred from seeking re-election because he has served two consecutive terms.

In Montana, Republicans chose farmer and state Sen. Mike Taylor to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Max Baucus.

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