Rapid City--Dr. Kevin Weiland announced today that he would not be filing petitions to challenge Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin in the Democratic primary for U.S. House.
Dr. Weiland said, "After a great deal of thought and consideration, I have decided today not to run for Congress, both because of my concern for what the net effect would be on our political party retaining the seat in the next Congress, but also after receiving assurances from Stephanie that she will not vote to repeal the recently-passed healthcare reform law, however will work to make it better. That is the positive way forward, not dividing Democrats in a contentious primary battle in which the winner is unable to effectively unite our party in the fall election.
Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin noted, “I have advocated for health care reform since I was first elected to Congress, and I look forward to working with Kevin and others to improve health care access, quality, and affordability in South Dakota. Although I could not support the recent legislation that passed the House, the bill does include a number of good provisions that I support, including eliminating insurance companies' ability to exclude people with preexisting conditions or to cancel coverage when someone gets sick; allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26; and creating transparent health insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses, where private insurers compete for their business. While some have called for repealing the law, I think the better way forward is to work together to continue to improve this bill and our health care system for all."
Dr. Weiland concluded, "From the bottom of my heart, I also want to thank everyone who worked to circulate my petitions. I'm convinced that this is the best possible outcome we could have had, and I hope everyone who signed the petitions will join me in voting to re-elect Stephanie this fall."