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
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
“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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