Four current and former Democratic senators from the Dakotas are set to raise money for Rick Weiland's campaign -- a strong indication of Weiland's institutional support in his uphill campaign.
On Wednesday night, Sen. Tim Johnson (S.D.) and former senators Tom Daschle (S.D.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) will host a fundraiser for Weiland's Senate campaign, Post Politics has learned.
"These four men have collectively won, by my count, 23 statewide races in the Dakotas," said Jim Jordan, a Weiland ally and former executive director of the DSCC. "Better than anyone anywhere, they understand what it takes to win there in terms of talent, character, and message. So it's a very big deal that they're coming together to say that they think Rick Weiland has the right stuff for this race."
Weiland is a former Daschle aide and Clinton administration appointee who remains the top Democrat in the open-seat race.
Johnson is retiring next year, and former governor Mike Rounds (R) is a heavy favorite to succeed him.
There have been indications that Democrats may still try to recruit someone else, though, after former congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Johnson's son, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, opted not to run. Weiland has twice run unsuccessfully for Congress, in 1996 and 2002, and was not widely considered a strong recruit when he got into the race.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in May that Weiland is "not my choice."