Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | August 29, 2003

Janklow charged with manslaughter; GOP's dilemma

We knew it was coming:

U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow was charged Friday with second-degree manslaughter in the death of a motorcyclist earlier this month.

Janklow was driving an estimated 70 to 75 mph when his Cadillac went through a stop sign at a rural intersection, according to a Highway Patrol accident report [...]

Moody County State's Attorney Bill Ellingson said the facts of the case establish probable cause for second-degree manslaughter. He also filed three misdemeanor charges: failure to stop at a stop sign, speeding and reckless driving.

If convicted of second-degree manslaughter, Janklow could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

I can't imagine Janklow would stay in Congress, though the ego of a congresscritter can never be underestimated.

Assuming he resigns, SD will be the scene of a spirited special election, with Dems hoping to pick up a seat and momentum heading into the 2004 Senate race.

Stephanie Herseth ran a great race against Janklow, pulling in almost 46 percent against the wildly popular former governor. She should be a lock as the Dem candidate. The GOP can guarantee the seat for itself by running ex-rep John Thune. However, that would take him out of the running for the Daschle's Senate seat. And the state GOP doesn't have any more star candidates with a any prayer of defeating Daschle.

So Thune's dilemma will be either to preserve SD's at-large House seat for his party, or run a difficult and underdog race against the Senate Minority Leader.

Posted August 29, 2003 09:49 AM | Comments (55)


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