Libertarian Evans to run for U.S. Senate in 2014

Kurt Evans, the libertarian candidate who many believe cost John Thune a victory in his 2002 race against Tim Johnson, says he’ll run for U.S. Senate again next year.

Evans, 43, said in an email to the Argus Leader that he would run for Senate as a Libertarian.

A Wessington Springs native, he’s employed as a distance education facilitator in the Wessington Springs school system.

In 2002, Evans received 32,000 3,070 votes in a race Thune lost by 525 votes.

Conventional wisdom holds that Libertarian candidates draw support primarily (though not exclusively) from voters who might otherwise pick Republicans.

Conservative magazine Human Events quoted Thune talking about the matter last year:

He ran to the right of me. I remember when (Evans) came in to tell me he was going to run and I said ‘you know Kurt, it’s going to be a really close race. You could be the difference in this.’ And he said ‘I’ve been called by God to do this’ and I said “I understand. I can’t tell you not to do this. I’m just telling you as a practical matter that in a really close race in this state, that whatever you take away is coming out of our vote total. But he went ahead and did it anyway, so you’re right.

Evans wrote that his own memory of the conversation was blunter: ”I remember him saying angrily, ‘Every vote you get is coming RIGHT OUT OF MY HIDE!’” Evans wrote in his email.

Evans would be the first third-party or independent candidate to enter the race. Already running are one Democrat, Rick Weiland, and four Republicans, Annette Bosworth, Stace Nelson, Larry Rhoden and Mike Rounds.