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Winter 2014/15

7

26 days and counting

Webb and Prentice were back in Vermillion Oct. 9 during

the 100th anniversary of Dakota Days, but not to reconnect with

fellow graduates and reminisce about their years as a Coyote.

They were preparing their candidates instead for a live debate on

South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

The months of campaigning were beginning to show. Both

women questioned whether they would ever consider running a

campaign of that scale again.

“You have to be a little crazy to want to campaign all the

time, but people do it because they love that feeling and that

pressure. But you lose a lot of control and you have almost no

free time. It would be a hard lifestyle to live,” Webb said.

Dealing with public scrutiny and media coverage is a tactful

part of the job that both women said they have had to develop

on the fly at times. Webb said she thought the gubernatorial race

was almost overshadowed by the competitive U.S. Senate race in

the state, but her goal was to not leave people waiting

for answers.

As the final election date neared, both graduates said their

focus was on making sure their candidate’s name and values were

known by as many South Dakotans as they could reach.

Life after election season

Prentice smiled as she stood next to Wismer during her

candidate’s concession speech on election night. Daugaard, the

incumbent, had won re-election with 70 percent of the votes,

but Prentice said she was proud of the campaign she ran and the

candidates she supported for governor and lieutenant governor.

She and Webb used November as a month of recuperation

and election clean-up. Prentice spent time with family in

Wessington through the holiday season and is continuing to

work with the Democratic party as it gets closer to the 2016

election cycle.

“We knew going in it was a big uphill battle, and it was

disappointing to lose, but I’m optimistic about the next two

years,” she said.

Webb returned to the governor’s office in early December

as a deputy policy adviser. She will be working on issues on a

federal and state level, and said she sees the advanced role as an

opportunity to “improve on good policy already in place.”

“I want to get back to the capital, because the people in the

governor’s office — they’re like family. I’ve been gone for eight

months and I’m ready to go home,” Webb said.

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