Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) on Thursday said in a statement that he will make a formal decision on his re-election plans "later next year," but it was the subsequent line in the press release that has many thinking he will make a run in 2014.
"But I feel great, still have work to do, and I fully intend to put together a winning campaign in the weeks and months ahead," Johnson said in the statement, which came in response to the news that former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R) will run for Senate in 2014.
If Johnson's statement was somewhat cryptic, the South Dakota Democratic Party appears to be all but confirming that the three-term incumbent will run again. An email penned by state party chairman Ben Nesselhuf and circulated shortly after Rounds made his announcement urges supporters "stand with Senator Johnson."
"Pledge right now to stand behind our Democratic senator over the next two years," Nesselhuf wrote. "Let's show Republicans across South Dakota that we're going to do everything in our power to protect working South Dakotans by supporting Senator Tim Johnson."