PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — State Sen. Dave Knudson of Sioux Falls has started a campaign committee to seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2010.
Knudson's statement of organization for a campaign committee was filed Monday with the secretary of state's office, making him the fourth Republican in the race.
The South Dakota Senate majority leader said he has been considering running for governor for a long time because he is interested in public policy.
"I feel like South Dakota has got a lot of serious problems. We need to confront those problems head-on and look for solutions," Knudson said. "I see myself as a problem-solving kind of person."
Knudson, 58, is a lawyer who served two temporary terms as chief of staff for Gov. Bill Janklow in 1995 and 1999. He first won a seat in the Senate in 2002 and is now serving his fourth term, which means he will be term-limited in the Senate in 2010.
He said his top priorities are making sure K-12 education is properly funded, reducing property taxes, and emphasizing economic development and the role technical education plays in development.
South Dakota law now provides that state aid to school districts increases each year by the rate of inflation or 3 percent, whichever is less. Knudson would like to change that annual increase to 4 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is greater, with the provision that it cannot grow any faster than the state general fund.
Knudson worked with Janklow in 1995 on a plan that cut property taxes substantially, and he said his campaign will be looking for ways to make additional reductions in property taxes.
His wife, De Knudson, is a member of the Sioux Falls City Council.
The 2010 race for governor will be wide open because Gov. Mike Rounds is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.
Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard has said he will run, and had $404,606 on hand in his campaign committee at the end of 2007. One of his larger donations was $11,000 from the Rounds for Governor committee.
Brookings Mayor Scott Munsterman and Ken Knuppe, a rancher from Buffalo Gap, have also filed statements to organize campaign committees for the 2010 GOP gubernatorial nomination.
No Democrat has officially announced a campaign for governor.