After finishing close behind Rep. Bill Janklow (R-S.D.) in 2002, Georgetown alumna and former Law Center professor Stephanie Herseth (CAS ’93, LAW ’96) announced Thursday that she will run for Congress again.

Herseth, a 32-year-old Democrat, was a newcomer to politics last year when she lost by seven percentage points to Janklow, South Dakota’s longtime governor.

“Based on the strength of our last campaign, I feel I want to give it another shot,” Herseth told the Argus Leader, a South Dakota newspaper.

Janklow fatally struck a motorcyclist on Aug. 16 and stands accused of second-degree manslaughter, a felony charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Janklow’s political future is unclear. So far, he has not resigned his seat and, if convicted, would not necessarily be forced to quit under House rules. His trial is scheduled for December.

Options for Janklow include resignation, retirement at the end of his current term or running again next November in a rematch with Herseth. Janklow told the Aberdeen American News that “it wouldn’t be appropriate” for him to speculate on what he will do after this term.

If Janklow does not run in 2004, it is possible that the man Janklow replaced, Republican John Thune, will run for his former office against Herseth. Thune gave up South Dakota’s at-large House seat to run for Senate last November and lost to Tim Johnson (D).

Thune has also been mentioned as a potential 2004 opponent to South Dakota’s other senator, Democrat Tom Daschle.

A spokesman for Thune told the Argus Leader that the former congressman “hasn’t ruled anything out.”

In 1993 Herseth received an American government degree from the College, where she was president of the College Democrats and active with GUSA and the International Relations Club. After graduating from Georgetown Law Center in 1997, Herseth taught there for a semester before leaving to work at a Washington law firm. In July of 2001, Herseth moved back to South Dakota and started her congressional campaign.

Herseth’s limited time in her home state after high-school graduation was a point of contention in her race against Janklow. any observers said that she tried to fight the carpetbagger image by taking her current job, executive director of the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, after the 2002 election.

While Herseth lost the race, it was through no fault of her old Georgetown professors and colleagues, who contributed $7,655 to her campaign, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Herseth’s family has a long history in South Dakota politics. She is the granddaughter of former governor Ralph Herseth. Her grandmother was South Dakota’s secretary of state and her father served in the state legislature for 20 years.

In addition to her job with the Farmers Union, Herseth teaches a political science course at South Dakota State University.

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