March 24th, 2010
04:39 PM ET
8 years ago

Health care vote triggers Democratic primary

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin will be challenged in the Democratic primary.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin will be challenged in the Democratic primary.

Washington (CNN) – A South Dakota doctor will challenge Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in the Democratic primary, a close friend tells CNN.

Herseth Sandlin had avoided a primary challenge when former Obama campaign official Steve Hildebrand decided not to run against her, which he said he seriously considered because of her vote against the Democratic health care reform bill. She was one of 34 House Democrats who voted against the legislation on Sunday.

Hildebrand, in an email to allies this afternoon, will now endorse Kevin Weiland, a doctor from Rapid City.

Hildebrand, who will serve as a Weiland campaign adviser, sent CNN a "press advisory" that was also distributed to South Dakota media outlets announcing that Weiland will challenge Herseth Sandlin.

The South Dakota doctor makes no mention of Herseth Sandlin in the five paragraph advisory, and noted that he would speak to the media on Thursday about his decision. Hildebrand said that the doctor supported the Democratic health care reform bill including a public option and was also frustrated by Herseth Sandlin's decision to vote against the bill.

Weiland does lay out a core argument about why he has decided to challenge a fellow Democrat in June in his advisory.

"For too long, Washington has been broken," Weiland said in the statement. "The influence of big money in politics and the power of corporate lobbyists have damaged public policy and what is right for the people of our state and nation. In the recent debate on health care reform, millions of dollars was spent by insurance companies making PAC contributions to members of Congress, handed out by the very lobbyists trying to sway their votes. It's one of the most egregious examples of why we need to rid big money from politics and implement stricter rules on the nearly 14,000 registered lobbyists in Washington. I'm ready to take on these fights in Congress on behalf of the people of South Dakota."

The filing deadline for the primary is next week and Weiland must get 1,200 signatures to be on the ballot.

Weiland is not known nationally, but in his letter the doctor notes that he is married with three children.

Filed under: 2010 • South Dakota • Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    At least we know that Sandlin's office won't have brock thrown at it or her children be on a "hit" list from the militia and quitter's followers.

    March 24, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Hehe, and they thought that voting Nay kept them safe. See ya Steph. You had a good run until you went all spineless on us.

    March 24, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |

    We gave you fair warning Rep. Sandlin. Now face the wrath of the Progressive Movement.

    March 24, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wish I could vote for you sir.

    The crappola is starting to hit the fan . YOU WILL REAP WHAT YOU SOW!

    Contrary to popular belief, Americans are NOT stupid.

    March 24, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Vote her out – she's voted with reps more than dems.

    March 24, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. A.B.

    Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin voted against healthcare reform and should be punished by progressive voters for her error. I hope that she is challenged and is defeated. The same should apply to all of those disloyal democrats who voted against the health reform bill!!

    March 24, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. sir magneto

    take the battle to the streets!

    March 24, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom

    To those 34 Blue-dogs: We know who you are and you will be challenged by Democrats!

    March 24, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Mark L.

    Good !! Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was one of the 34 that voted AGAINST the Healthcare reform legislation?? I say WE VOTE HER OUT !!

    March 24, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Tulsa

    Good for you Dr. Go for it.

    March 24, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Save 'em in the womb, so a "christian" holy war can send 'em to the tomb

    Let the blood letting of the Blue Dogs begin!

    March 24, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Independent

    Electoral challenges can be healthy for our democracy on both sides to ensure constituents have the best possible representation.

    Congresspersons on either side should be replaced if they are overly influenced by corporate/special interests instead of putting average Americans first.

    March 24, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Ashif

    I support the good doctor

    March 24, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. ran

    Good for him. I hope he wins and then wins the general election. Ever person who voted against this bill should be kicked out when and if they run for reelection.

    March 24, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. LIP

    Representative Herseth has done an incredible job for South Dakota. Her constituents encouraged her to vote the way she did and she truly represented the wishes of her constituency, which is what all senators and representativesw were elected to do. Those that elected her are happy with her decision to vote no. I am sure that Ms Herseth is a principled person who stood by her convicions, which meant that there was too much wrong to make her give up her principles to vote for the portion that was right. It may sound unusual, but that is the way we are out here in the midwest. We don't just fall into line like Senator Tim Johnson SD will and look like just one more of the clones that are all to often elected.

    March 24, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. Darth Vadik, CA

    Teabag supporter comment:

    "Keep your government hands off my Medicare"


    Is there a rule in the teabag party that states you must have an IQ lower than Forrest Gump to be a member? God must love crazy dumb people (to laugh at), because he made so many of you dumb Republicans.

    March 24, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Michael from Ventura

    Good news! Vote out all the naysayers and obstructionists! These Dems that vote with the party of NO need to be removed from office....

    March 24, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. jojomcgee

    Its started. And nothing Obama, CNN, or Pelosi can do to stop it.

    March 24, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Tom in IL

    It's a conservative district. Let the liberal Dr. Waste his money. This will only assure a Republican victory.

    March 24, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Preco

    If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
    America need leaders who can stand with the suffering populace
    Republicans and their suppoters(some silly democrats) are in for a tough November, mark my words!

    March 24, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. eprtr

    Good for him! I think that every single Dem who voted against this reform should lose his or her job, and the earlier the better. Primary season works for me!

    I can't wait until November, when Republicans have to stare in the face of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who had been previously excluded from healthcare, but who are now covered, and tell them that the Republican's genius idea is to take that healthcare back from them! I'll be watching with a bowl of popcorn and a smirk. Republicans are in a for HUGE surprise come November. The left will be re-charged and heading to the polls to reward those who stood by the President and the agenda he forwards, and to keep out those who have done nothing but be vile, hateful obstructionists for the last year!

    March 24, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Lori in St Pete

    Right on Mr. Hidlerbrand and good luck to you Dr. Weiland! We need you and many more like you in Congress. It's so refreshing to see that some doctors DO put their patient's best interests before those of insurance corporations, and elected officials who put their constituents' best interests before their own cushy job. Representative Herseth isn't one of them. Where should I send my check?

    March 24, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. KM

    You don't live in my district so I can't vote for you but I will say good luck. And no I am not one of those idiots that say I'll give you money for support because that is ignorant, you will be representing the constituents of your district and not "my" district. I hope that you win and don't get poisoned by Washington.

    March 24, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. T'SAH from Virginia

    Weiland is IN.... We send people to DC to do what they campaign about. If they DON"T, then OUT they GO.... Case and POINT!!

    March 24, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Liz, SD

    Kevin-you have my vote (and my husbands)! It will be great to finally have a real democrat from SD in the House of Reps. Rep. Herseth-Sandlin has been a real disappointment for many South Dakotans. Maybe if she had to buy insurance on the open market like I do she would understand that HCR can't wait.

    March 24, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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