UPDATE: Read here, the release discussed below eventually came.
Forty minutes ago, the Twitter account of the Republican Liberty Caucus of South Dakota — an anti-establishment GOP group with libertarian, Ron/Rand Paul influences and unknown membership or leadership — tweeted what could be some big news: that conservative gadfly Rep. Stace Nelson was running for U.S. Senate:
— RLC South Dakota (@RLCSouthDakota)
A few minutes later, another Twitter account, @SDforRand — a group endorsing the presidential candidacy of Sen. Rand Paul and, apparently, Nelson’s Senate candidacy, since its bio says “creator of #StandWithStace,” the pro-Nelson hashtag that mimics the “Stand with Rand” catchphrase of Paul’s filibuster — joined in.
But now they appear to have deleted their original tweet, saying that Nelson had created an exploratory committee.
UPDATE: And now @SDforRand has re-sent something close to their deleted tweet:
— SD for Rand Paul (@SDforRand)
When I expressed skepticism on Twitter, @RLCSouthDakota told me it was legitimate:
@ArgusMontgomery Check your email there is a press release— RLC South Dakota (@RLCSouthDakota)
I have no press release in my email, nor in my junk folder or spam filter. The person behind @RLCSouthDakota messaged me for my email address so they could send it to me; I sent that to them 20 minutes ago and have yet received nothing.
None of this has come from Stace Nelson himself, a prolific Twitter user who has not hesitated to personally email releases to me in the past. Nelson hasn’t responded to my calls or texts.
What’s going on here? Is Nelson running with a confused rollout? Is he being baited into committing? Is someone just playing games to try and step on Larry Rhoden’s own Senate announcement? I don’t know, but I’m not reporting that Nelson’s running based on a Twitter statement from a third-party group.
I will update this as more comes in.