Former governor seeks senate seat



 Former governor Mike Rounds made a visit to campus Friday, April 4 as one of the stops of his campaign to be elected into the South Dakota Senate. 

Rounds, an SDSU alum, took a tour of campus and answered questions for students and members of the public in the Performing Arts Center, before attending the notably Republican Lincoln Dinner Ball. Running on the republican ticket, Rounds discussed various topics such as the economy, health care and his platform.

When speaking about the economy and employment, Rounds feels that we are not in a recession.

“There’s some growth, but it’s limited growth,” Rounds said. “We’ve got to look at what we can do to increase job growth, not restrict job growth.”

Rounds believes from his previous experience in Washington, that big businesses look where manufacturing could be. They don’t want to come to South Dakota, because too many people are already employed. Rounds wants to try and have large companies to come to South Dakota. He is also willing to help the companies find employees.

Another issue Rounds looks to pursue is lowering the national debt. At $17.4 trillion, Rounds wants the national government to balance its budget like South Dakota and the other states are required to do. He also looks to slow down spending at the federal level such as in social security and Medicare.

A major concern of Rounds is the current condition of roads and bridges in South Dakota. 

“A lot of our local bridges and roads haven’t been updated since 1930,” Rounds said. Rounds said he will never say that he will sign a no new taxes pledge, as new taxes have previously been the revenue source to upkeep South Dakota roads and bridges. 

“If all you’re doing is trying to meet your entitlement needs, you’re really leaving the next generation with very little to work from, and that’s a concern that I have,” Rounds said.

Rounds hopes to expand renewable energy, especially through ethanol, which can be a direct benefit to South Dakota. He gave several uses and reasons why ethanol is a better fuel than petroleum.

“Automakers are going to tell petroleum makers that 87 [fuel] isn’t good enough anymore,” Rounds said. He also believes that the Environmental Protection Agency’s cutting of renewable fuel standard was a mistake. 

When discussing healthcare and the public’s concerns with it, Rounds said that he wants Medicare and social security to be there for the future generation.

“We want it [Medicare] to be there for a long time in the future,” Rounds said. “There isn’t a fed that wants states controlling Medicare. There isn’t a state that wants the feds controlling their Medicaid dollars, because they don’t trust them.”

Rounds also said healthcare costs will lower if the amount of people of Medicaid are lowered.

“The fewer people you have on Medicaid, the less healthcare will cost you. The majority of folks that are on Medicaid are kids … Folks who are on Medicaid would choose not to be on it,” Rounds said.

Rounds said to set himself apart from the other candidates, he continues to use the same philosophy as he did when he ran for governor.

Rounds said, “I’ve always run in the position where I talk about the things I would do, rather than the things that are wrong with them.”