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

Health care vote triggers Democratic primary

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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)

    She deserves to lose the primary. This is a classic case of not voting how the people who put you in office wanted you to vote. If you voted how you think, then maybe you should run as a republican.

    March 24, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Tina

    I originally come from SD. I fortunately moved away !!! Thanks Goodness. I hope the doctor wins!!!

    March 24, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. We the People....

    Well, to ALL those who voted FOR this ridiculous "health care" reform, WE know who YOU are and wie will vote you out!

    It is good that someone represented the people of the district in which they were ELECTED to represent!

    March 24, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. Susan, AZ

    She should go.
    I fail to understand why these Dem reps can be so foolish to vote against the motion. They know its good for the country but are afraid for the tea-baggers.
    So, there is no place for you lady in the Dem party.

    March 24, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    It's healthy debate to go through a primary, if this district likes her work, Dem or Repub they will win.
    I believe the tea-baggers will self-distruct on a national level just as Palin did. Too much un-principled anger and rage, along with ignorrance. The Repubs are truely in trouble, and they are totally clueless about it as they only watch the one cable TV channel that feeds them the lies they want to hear. Amazing how humans can chose to live in the dark, proof that history does repeat itself.

    March 24, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    When we start throwing vocal firebombs at people, we are no better than Boehner or the Tea people. If anything our Pres has demonstrated, from the campaign to now, the high road is the best road for the long haul. Let's accept that those BD's voted their conscious or according to their constituents desires. The Dems are a party of many ideas, not slogan eating bobble heads. Because of our diverse views, there was a real debate on the best way to procede with health reform. The other side has really made themselves even more irrelevant (if that were possible!) and less respected through this process.Let's not mimic losers!

    March 24, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Representative Sandlin deserves a great deal of praise for resisting the no-doubt huge pressure of those in her Party whose intent, apparently, is to bankrupt the US.

    March 24, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Chris in Va.

    So Stephanie......what did you get with your insurance $$$$ ???? Whatever it was I hope it was well worth it. You better hope your new Repug buddies step up to the plate for you in November....but don't count on it.

    March 24, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. annie against biased news

    Why is the doctor a socialist or one of the white coats in the so-called president's photo ops?

    March 24, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. America the bautiful..

    Where has your democracy gone.? United States of America gone as well? Nothing is as bad as blind minds with seeing eyes....The politicians are not uniting the country so we the people must rally to the cause...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. LIb

    They always said that still waters run deep. Those who wanted health care reform did it the American way, we voted for it. Now the loud republicans will reap what they sow. The loudness of your voices did not overshadow those of us who lay quietly by the wayside for our victory.

    March 24, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Go Steph

    You are the only one who had the guts to stand up against the moron liberals in the House.Hope you beat the heck out of ole wetland and who gives a dam about what hildebrand thinks anyway.You can tell all the ignorant support weiland just by listening to them blog.

    March 24, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Victim of GOP Taliban

    All the spineless traitors that sided with the Lunatics should be removed from the Democratic Party.

    Stop capitulating to the right-wing Lunatic fringe that blows-up government buildings, conducts suicide attacks, shoots doctors in the name of religion, or drives coast to coast to attack the Pentagon.

    March 24, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. JustMe

    Pretty impressive that he's a doctor and is for the bill. That says a lot, IMO.

    March 24, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. siouxfallsguy

    Progressives must be very careful if they try to punish sitting Democrats in November. The ONLY way that Repubs can win is to have the Dems split. And if you're thinking of voting out Rep Sandlin, then bend over and welcome the new Republican rep, because there aren't enough progressives in South Dakota to stop the Republicans from benefiting from the split that would occur from trying to oust Steph. It's a very conservative area and I'd hope that you'd agree that it'd be much better to have a Blue Dog Dem than ANY Republican in congress right now. Pelosi intentionally gave cover to some of the Blue Dogs so that they could justify to their constituents and yet remain viable in Nov. Think about it long & hard before you throw out what might be accomplished in order to enact some revenge fantasy.

    March 24, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. Capt. Snarky

    The people Ms. Herseth Sandlin represents didn't want the Obamacare bill, and she voted according to their wishes. I wish I could say the same about my congresscritter......

    March 24, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Seattle Voter

    I have worked at different insurance companies in Seattle and have worked at three major hospitals and currently working at a clinic as a medical biller. I do understand the importance of health insurance. For those who are against the Health Care Reform are being ignorant. I see a lot of medical claims being denied DUE TO PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. SOME COVERAGE HAVE A 90 DAY WAITING PERIOD. SO IF YOU ARE SICK BEFORE YOUR COVERAGE BECOMES EFFECTVE YOU ENDED UP PAYING FROM YOUR OWN POCKET. An average 3 day hospital stay will cost a patient anywhere from $5,000.00 to $15,000.00 (depending on the procedure that was perform).

    March 24, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Center left-out

    If you are to scared to vote for health care as a Democrat you just a waste of space.

    March 24, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. John

    Apparently progressive is a synonym for a person who acts like a teenager with a credit card and no job. The ones who will really pay for this mess will be our kids and grandkids.

    March 24, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. Jerry - Florida

    Representative Sandlin, may the Lord always protect and bless you.

    Above all, stand tall and proud, unlike the other Democratic traitors and flip-floppers.

    March 24, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. Hawk in Texas

    Good for the dr. we need to vote all blue dog democrats and the republicans. we here in texas are going to try and turn texas blue again. with democrats we get programs that help the poor and working people. with republicans and blue dog democrats that in reality are nothing but republicans any way you get tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. and all you nut jobs that are on social sercuity and medicare if you do not want the health care . give those two social programs back.

    March 24, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. Center

    we should vote dems and reps for not standing up for people. next we should go for banking/money reform, so real economy be protected from wll street crooks

    March 24, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. Grandoo Nullifidian

    I am a registered Democrat and have supported Hersetj-Sandlin since she first sought South Dakota's lone heat in the House. Given her NO vote on the health care reform bill(s), I will vote against her in the primary and, should she win it, against her in the the general election of November.

    March 24, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  24. Ray E.

    Stephanie you voted correctly. Keep up the good work. If the Polls are correct a lot of elected officials will be retired in November. Maybe we can avoid another Depression but I think the Titanic is already sunk.

    It appears that the un employment figures will not get better anytime soon. All the social programs are running out of money and will collapse soon.

    Maybe I should just stick my head in the sand and hope everything goes away. Fat chance.

    March 24, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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