Herseth Sandlin Emphasizes Record Crossing Party Lines

Posted August 21, 2010 at 9:37am

ABERDEEN, S.D. — Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) said Friday that her ability to bridge the partisan divide and work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress gives her an edge over her opponent this fall.

“We stick to our principles, but we work together,” Herseth Sandlin said of South Dakota Democrats during an appearance at the Brown County Fair. “We’ve got neighbors and friends and family members who are Republicans or Independents and we work together to do what’s right for South Dakota.”

Herseth Sandlin, who is in a tough race against GOP state Rep. Kristi Noem, spoke in front of nearly three dozen state Democratic candidates and supporters at the “Meet the Candidates” forum here.

“I have a proven record on behalf of South Dakota to do what’s right for South Dakota,” she said. “The alternative is someone who thinks ‘no’ is a legitimate governing agenda.”

Herseth Sandlin characterized Noem, the assistant GOP leader in the South Dakota House, as a partisan Republican who would not buck House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) if she were elected.

Herseth Sandlin contrasted that with her work crossing party lines to keep Ellsworth Air Force Base open, passing the 2008 farm bill and the renewable fuels standard.

“I like my chances given that choice, given that match-up,” Herseth Sandlin said.

Herseth Sandlin, who won every county in 2008, has survived difficult elections before, but with the overall political climate deteriorating for Democrats polls show the Congresswoman in a very tough battle. The latest Rasmussen Poll taken on Aug. 3 showed Noem ahead of Herseth Sandlin 51 percent to 42 percent. The telephone survey of 500 likely voters had a margin of error of 4.5 points.

Noem and national Republicans are seeking to link Herseth Sandlin to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democratic establishment in Washington, D.C., while also noting her husband, former Rep. Max Sandlin (D-Texas), is a lobbyist.

“I believe the U.S. House of Representatives is the people’s House. It’s not Nancy Pelosi’s House,” Noem said recently during a debate at Dakotafest farm show, according to news reports.