Intra-caucus politics set to get more interesting for GOP in wake of caucus elections (Part 1)

Updated: Nov 20


Originally posted by @SoDakCampaigns South Dakota War College

With the election of the Senate’s new leadership team, and as the House’s caucus elections approach, there’s some inside baseball occurring in the background. And a lot of it has some relation to Rapid City politics – both long running factional goofiness and what took place in this last election.

For the more recent, focus on the postcard where four sitting Republicans endorsed independent Brian Gentry over the Republican Jessica Castleberry in the General Election District 35 Senate Race. For many Republicans, especially legislators, that was particularly egregious.

In the Senate, while they were delivering checks for caucus support for both Julie Frye-Mueller and Jessica Castleberry, JFM turns around and attacks Castleberry by endorsing Jessica’s opponent. That’s a huge no-no.

In the primary, support who you want. There might be some hurt feelings and potential repercussions, but it is generally considered to be “a family dispute.” But in the general, if you’re a Republican candidate, and you’re off supporting Democrats or Independents, or whatever… well, that’s going to come back and bite you in the rear.

Senator-elect Julie Frye Mueller crossed party lines and supported the opponent of one of her now fellow caucus members at the same time she was trying to put out her own fire when people were being encouraged to cross party lines to support her own opponent, Libertarian & former Republican Gideon Oakes.

Julie groused about the possibility of people going over party lines. But the difference is that while Julie crossed the line in D35, people didn’t do it in her race. In other words, it was a whole lot of “do as I say, not as I do.”

Expect that there will be repercussions for Frye-Mueller, because at the least, she’s proven herself to be a quisling. And really, why would Senator Castleberry feel comfortable talking strategy at a table with someone who just finished endorsing her opponent?

But it doesn’t end there. Because there’s three others who crossed party lines in the general election, and they’re in the House. And there’s a whole lot more going on there.

(That’s coming in part 2)

15 thoughts on “Intra-caucus politics set to get more interesting for GOP in wake of caucus elections (Part 1)”

  1. anon says: November 7, 2020 at 10:12 amNone of the four have any brains. I’m just glad Lizzy and Sam were smart enought to stay out of the fray. Reply

  2. Anonymous says: November 7, 2020 at 2:08 pmGideon Oakes was a much better candidate than Frye-Mueller, but he got just under 30 percent of the vote due to decades of major-party smears against South Dakota Libertarians. Meanwhile the longest-serving Democrat in the Wyoming state legislature was unseated by Libertarian Marshall Burt in a nine-point upset that several media outlets called “stunning,” and Wyoming Libertarian Bethany Baldes lost a two-way race against the Republican house majority leader by a mere 53 votes, 1,645 to 1,592. Reply

  3. Anonymous says: November 8, 2020 at 9:34 am“Major party smears against Libertarians?” I think those “smears” are self-inflicted. Half are productive human beings. But there are so many chuckleheads. Reply



  1. John Dale says: November 7, 2020 at 10:13 amI wonder .. is this a token gesture to diffuse perceptions of being surrounded by enemies? Like, after a prize fight, the winner helping the loser up? Is this beyond simply reaching across the isle? Was there anything materially that changed as a result of these actions? Reply

  2. Ed Randazzo says: November 7, 2020 at 3:40 pmThree Republican lawmakers accepted over $1000.00 each from the Pennington Co. Republican Party in media and print ads to support their campaigns. The same three publicly supported an independent candidate for SD Senate over a Republican candidate. Is this simply a violation of loyalty to their party or does it also speak to their integrity? Reply

  3. Anon says: November 7, 2020 at 6:08 pmThe Vice-Chair of the Pennington republicans needs to be removed. She endorsed him too. Reply


  1. Troy says: November 7, 2020 at 4:42 pmSenator Fried Eggs for Brains should get committee assignments like: Committee for Bacon Bits Committee on Hash Browns And most important never get party help again. I am all for renegades and gadfly’s doing their thing. But the hypocrisy of saying stick with party for me while I don’t is walking the plank. If she is allowed in caucus, she should be in an adjoining room via zoom. She has to raise her hand to have her mike turned on and her feed can be turned off anytime a full caucus member raises here hand. Her participation is 100% a gift. And, whoever has to sit with her on the floor gets a case of wine every week for taking one for the team. Reply

  2. Anonymous says: November 8, 2020 at 9:38 amThey can tuck Senator Fried Eggs for Brains in a corner with Heinert, Nesiba & Red Dawn Foster. They all had a similar agenda of working to beat Republicans, so they should get along just fine. Reply


  1. anonymous says: November 7, 2020 at 5:21 pmAre you say those who get kicked out of caucus should be shunned or that people who express their views should not be let into caucus? Reply

  2. Anonymous says: November 8, 2020 at 9:26 amIt’s like the mafia. Don’t cross the family if you ever want a chance to be the Boss. Reply

  3. Anonymous says: November 8, 2020 at 9:41 amConsider it a non-compete clause. You go out of your way to screw the organization that helped to pay for your job, you should expect there are going to be consequences. Reply


  1. grudznick says: November 8, 2020 at 9:32 amYoung Mr. Oakes was the better candidate. Frye-Mueller is among the insanest of all and those in our District numbered 30 who voted for her should be ashamed. Ashamed and lashed. Reply

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