Herseth Sandlin, Johnson will return to Capitol Hill

Herseth Sandlin, Johnson will return to Capitol Hill By David Lias �? �? �?  There was little doubt that Tim Johnson, Vermillionâ�?�?s hometown boy, would be returned to the U.S. Senate by Clay County voters Tuesday. �? �? �?  Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin also won another term in the U.S. House with little difficulty, both county-wide and across the state. �? �? �?  Johnson received 75 percent of the vote in Clay County, defeating Republican challenger Joel Dykstra 4,637-1,545 in Clay County. �? �? �?  Herseth Sandlin similarly won re-election by a wide margin. She received slightly more than 78 percent of the vote, defeating challenger Chris Lien 4,793-1,330 in Clay County. �? �? �?  Those figures perhaps demonstrate the ease with which a Democratic candidate can garner votes in Clay County. Statewide, both Johnson and Herseth Sandlin won by significant margins, but they werenâ�?�?t as large as in Clay County. �? �? �?  With 756 of 799 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Johnson was able to declare victory, holding a 62.5 to 37.5 percent lead over Dykstra. �? �? �?  At the same moment, Herseth Sandlin was clearly cruising to her fourth victory in her Congressional career since winning the seat in a special election in 2004. She led with approximately 68 percent of the vote. �? �? �?  In a press release issued Wednesday, Johnson indicated he is looking forward to returning to work in Washington, DC with a new Democratic president and new opportunities in the Senate. �? �? �?  Congress will come into session later this month for reorganization when much more will be known about the overall shape and leadership that will come into power this January.�?  �? �? �?  â�?�?There is obviously great hope for the new president of the United States.�?  The overwhelming mandate received by President-elect Obama highlights the desire in our country for a new direction. This is time for unity and action,â�? Johnson said. â�?�?As a nation and as your representatives, we all must come together to get the job done.�?  We face challenging times, from our economy to our national security to providing affordable health care to moving toward 21st century energy solutions.�? �?  �? �? �?  â�?�?These priorities must be addressed in addition to a mounting budget deficit.�?  I will continue to use my seniority to be a voice for the people of South Dakota on these issues.�?  Now that election day is behind us, the tough work begins,â�? he said. Herseth Sandlin called her win "a great victoryâ�? but also said she will continue with the kind of bipartisan congressional work that South Dakota voters expect. �? �? �?  â�?�?I bring a healthy dose of South Dakota common sense to Congress, of wanting to move forward rather than have stalemates,â�? she told the Rapid City Journal Tuesday.�?  â�?�?I think, clearly, that Republicans and Independents are trusting me more, and I'm overcoming some of the skepticism that perhaps some voters had of me when I was first running.â�? �? �? �?  Herseth Sandlin lost her first congressional race to formidable Republican Gov. Bill Janklow in 2002. But she came back in a competitive campaign to beat Republican Larry Diedrich in a special election in June 2004 for the seat after Janklow was convicted of vehicular manslaughter. She beat Diedrich again in the fall for her first full House term. �? �? �?  Herseth Sandlin praised Lien for having the courage to take on a demanding statewide campaign and run it cleanly. �? �? �?  â�?�?I appreciate the kind of campaign he ran, and that the tone stayed positive and focused on the issues,â�? she said. �? 

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