Hubbel running for governor

Outspoken former lawmaker Lora Hubbel has filed paperwork to run for governor next year.

That would set her up for a primary challenge to incumbent Dennis Daugaard, who intends to seek another term. Both are Republicans.

There is as of yet no formal announcement from Hubbel about her plans. She didn’t return several calls Tuesday morning.

News of Hubbel’s filing was first reported by the South Dakota War College blog.

Hubbel, who also was a controversial chair of the Minnehaha County Republican Party, previously said she “will be running for an office next year” but didn’t “know which one.”

But governor seemed the most likely office for Hubbel to seek. She has long been critical of Gov. Dennis Daugaard for allegedly being too friendly to the Affordable Care Act — he supported a lawsuit against it, declined to administer its exchanges, and is leaning against a prompt expansion of Medicaid, but also changed South Dakota law to account for some of the federal act’s less controversial changes.

Hubbel’s advertisement at the Lincoln County GOP dinner last month included the tagline “Hubbel… because you know things should be better in South Dakota,” phrasing which also pointed to a run for governor.

When Hubbel was the Minnehaha County party chair, she was involved in the short-lived decision to withdraw from the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored legislative forums and host alternative, Republican-sponsored forums. That decision drew a swift backlash, including repudiation from the state GOP. After new leadership elections in which Hubbel didn’t run, the new chair cancelled the alternative forums and returned to the Chamber events.