A group of Native American leaders has endorsed Democratic candidate Rick Weiland in his 2014 bid for a South Dakota seat in the U.S. Senate.
The Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association announced Wednesday that it was backing Weiland, who has run for Congress once before, because it believed he had stood strong on native issues.
“Rick Weiland has worked extensively with American Indian Tribes and tribal leaders his entire career and we trust him," the association wrote in a statement. "As the FEMA regional director and later as CEO of the International Code Council, Rick helped forge consensus on complex issues. He has a personal connection with many of our tribal people."
The Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association is composed of leaders from tribes in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.
Weiland is running for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Tim Johnson, who announced in March that he would retire from politics when his term expires.
So far, former South Dakota governor Mike Rounds, a Republican, is the only other candidate to announce he will vie for Johnson's seat.