News & Election Videos

August 08, 2008

Tim Johnson won't be participating in debates

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), recovering from a brain hemorrhage, announced today that he will not be participating in any debates as he runs for re-election.

Johnson’s statement is below:

"I would like to thank South Dakotans for their patience, prayers, and strong support during the past year. It is because of that support and my job performance over the past year that I know I am 100 percent capable of performing all of the duties of my job as South Dakota's Senior Senator. I have the full confidence of my doctors, family and colleagues in the Senate as I seek another six-year term.

In the Senate I am able to effectively communicate the needs of our state and my passionately held beliefs.

There is no better evidence of that than my record since returning to the Senate nearly one year ago. I have not missed a single vote, I have acquired hundreds of millions of dollars for projects throughout South Dakota and I chair, attend and fully participate in committee and sub-committee hearings.

I have been open and honest about my recovery. While my speech continues to improve it is not yet 100 percent and I have not yet reached a point in my rehab where my participation in a debate would accurately reflect my capabilities. Therefore I will not participate in traditional political debates during this campaign."

Johnson is heavily favored to defeat Republican state Rep. Joel Dykstra, who lags well behind Johnson in funds and organization.