tapio

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO.com) -- Former state senator and Republican Congressional candidate Neal Tapio is hinting at a possible run against incumbent GOP Congressman Dusty Johnson. Over the weekend, Tapio, from Watertown, put out a statement on his Facebook page and sent KELO.com Radio a statement (below).

He says he's "actively" considering a run for Congress in 2020.

"The people of South Dakota are hard-working patriotic Americans who love God, their country, our flag and they overwhelmingly and unconditionally support our President," Tapio said. "When they see their own Representative show weakness in times of emergency, they are not afraid to move in a new direction."

Borrowing some of the themes from his surprisingly strong third-place finish in the 2018 GOP primary that Johnson won, Tapio related some of the issues he's still concerned about.

"(South Dakotans) recognize we must declare an emergency at our border," he said. "More importantly, South Dakotans know we have an emergency with Somali gun violence and gang warfare in Sioux Falls, with a drug epidemic in our schools."

He also mentioned the rate of fatherless children, the failure of the criminal justice system, "pointless" wars with Islamic countries, and unfair trade with China.

In the 2018 primary, he positioned himself as the "most Trump" supporting candidate among himself, Johnson, and then-Secretary of State Shantel Krebs.

"South Dakotans want a Representative that has the courage to face problems head-on, and are tired of slick Establishment politicians who want business as usual," Tapio wrote at the end of the statement.

He says "more information will be provided soon."

Below is Tapio's statement to KELO.com.

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I have been humbled and encouraged by an outpouring of support from across South Dakota and can confirm I am actively considering a run for the US House.

The people of South Dakota are hard working patriotic Americans who love God, their country, our flag and they overwhelmingly and unconditionally support our President. When they see their own Representative show weakness in times of emergency, they are not afraid to move in a new direction. South Dakotans are thankful for President Trump, and the direction he is leading our country, but they recognize we must declare an emergency at our border. More importantly, South Dakotans know we have an emergency with Somali gun violence and gang warfare in Sioux Falls, with a drug epidemic in our schools, with a high fatherless rate of our children, with an assault on our Christian culture, with the failure of our criminal justice system, with endless and pointless wars in Islamic extremist countries around the world, with an unfair trade imbalance with China and the rest of the world, with the bureaucratic management of the Black Hills, and with hopelessness on our reservations. South Dakotans want a Representative that has the courage to face problems head on, and are tired of slick Establishment politicians who want business as usual. As a business owner, former state Senator and the former director of the Trump campaign in South Dakota, the people of South Dakota know I have their back, that I would have President Trump’s back and that I would fight for the people, not the special interests of the Establishment. More information will be provided soon.