Hubbel wants Republican nomination for governor
Lora Hubbel at the State Fair on Sunday.
Statehouse reporter Bob Mercer spent some time talking with Lora Hubbel and watching her greet people at the State Fair last week. She is a former legislator from Sioux Falls and is a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor in 2018. Here are some impressions.
Why she’s running: Hubbel said she learned from her 2014 challenge to Gov. Dennis Daugaard it wasn’t wise to run against “the status quo.” As for “the rank and file” of Republicans, however: “They’re my people.”
“I think I have the crowd. These labels have been applied to people they don’t apply to,” she said.
Hubbel told a story about a weak apple tree in her yard. She tried to get better apples. Finally she cut it down and planted a new tree. Now she has good apples.
She thinks that should happen in South Dakota’s Republican Party. Cut down the corrupt tree, with its bad fruit of EB-5 and GEAR UP, and plant new, she said.
Former Gov. Mike Rounds, now a U.S. senator, “hijacked” South Dakota, and now “our conservative state” is the third-most reliant on the federal Obamacare health system, according to Hubbel.
The Common Core approach to K-12 education standards took hold during Rounds’ second term as governor and moved into place under Daugaard’s administration. “Not a person alive likes Common Core,” Hubbel said. “We’re a governing state for that. Not a participating state, but a governing state.”
She sent a letter to Daugaard complaining about Common Core. She said he sent a letter back suggesting she do more research.
“Where does the corruption come from?” Hubbel asked. “If there’s no law with teeth, people are going to do it.”
She added: “It’s morals. My compass, true north is true north.” She said others have a legal compass – what’s legal or not – or a money compass.
How she’s organized her campaign: Hubbel said she waited too long to start her campaign in 2014 against Daugaard as he sought re-election. She began in October 2013.
This time, the governor’s election is an open seat, because of South Dakota’s limit of two consecutive elections for state constitutional officers. We sat Sept. 3 in the Republican hall. She said thank-you for reminding her.
“That’s my frustration. There’s better people to run, but they’re not,” she said.
Hubbel served one term, 2011 through 2012, in the state House of Representatives. She lost three in a row since then.
She ran in the 2012 Republican primary against Sen. Deb Peters, R-Hartford. Peters won, 405 votes to 363.
Hubbel ran in the 2014 Republican primary for governor against Daugaard. He won, 60,017 votes to 14,196.
She challenged Peters again in a 2016 primary, and Peters won again, 569 votes to 441.
“I know where the land mines are. That’s why I’m running. I need to,” Hubbel said.
One of her ideas is to pay legislators in proportion to how much they work. She wants federal money removed from state government’s budget.
“I have to knock a few walls down,” she said. She added, “If I could just control my mouth.”
Obamacare health-insurance premiums cost more than some recipients’ house payments, she said. “I saw how it was going to hurt people, she said.
One answer is in a book by former U.S. Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, according to Hubbel. “It’s pretty simple. We can refuse to implement it (Obamacare),” she said.
How she’s raising money: “I haven’t even started yet,” Hubbel said. She planned to “flip” three re-possessed houses she bought and use the proceeds as seed money. But that hasn’t worked out.
She showed photos on her phone of one place, its rooms crammed with empty plastic bottles, including the spot where the former resident slept atop them. She’s been busy cleaning the mess.
“I couldn’t even hire somebody to do it,” she said.
How she plans to pick her lieutenant governor: Hubbel said she’s asked a person. “He’s still thinking about it,” she said.
How she greets people: She was guarded at the State Fair. She didn’t know Republicans had a hall. She said her parents brought her to the fair as a child.
- South Dakota
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