Former Sen. Larry Pressler considering running again

Nov. 15, 2013 at 11:10 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler, a Republican from South Dakota, says he's considering running for his old job on the independent ticket next year.

Pressler, who served in Congress for 22 years before being defeated by Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat, in 1996, told Politico that he is about 70 percent sure that he plans on running and will announce his official decision in January.

"My choices are to start a foundation, write a book or run for office," Pressler said. "The journey would be more important than the destination."

The former senator said he believes he has a "less than 10 percent" chance of winning, but his goal is to draw attention to fiscal issues.

His solution to the deficit includes raising some taxes, closing some loopholes, raising the Social Security eligibility age, lowering the cost-of-living adjustment and cutting defense spending.

"I don't meet any rich people who aren't willing to pay slightly more taxes ... if it would help our country," Pressler said.

As for his choice to run as an Independent, Pressler said that former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has announced plans to run on the GOP ticket and is already "so far ahead."

He also believes his stance on social issues wouldn't limit his chances of winning over conservatives -- he is in favor of South Dakota's law that allows abortions within the first trimester, and he supports gay marriage.

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