Big blooming ballots! The Secretary of State's office was busy with all sorts of petitions today. Here are some of today's highlight filings from the official candidates list and the ballot measure page:
- I heard rumors that Frank Kloucek was toting petitions for three different offices. If so, he cast his lot today: it's Kloucek for Senate in District 19! Alas, no epic Kloucek-Nelson debates this year... but hey, District 19! You can send Kloucek to the Senate, keep Nelson in the House, and enjoy what could be the greatest in-district legislative tag-team of the decade. Kloucek will face Republican Bill Van Gerpen. The last time those two faced each other on a ballot was the 2000 District 19 House race. Both men got seats, but Kloucek edged Van Gerpen by 1.39%. Since then, both have appeared on District 19 ballots seeking different offices, and both times, Van Gerpen has won just a hair more votes than Kloucek.
- Sibby's in! Steve Sibson is the first Republican on the ballot for District 20's Senate seat. Looking good, Sibby!
- Hill City rancher George Ferebee lost to Bruce Rampelberg by 19 votes in 2010. Ferebee wants another ride of the Tea Party bull: he has filed to challenge incumbent Rampelberg for the District 20 Senate seat.
- Everybody and their ugly cousin want to serve in District 6: Jason Long became the fourth Republican to file for District 6 House. He and fellow new candidate June Nusz are both from Sioux Falls; they challenge fellow Republicans Herman Otten and Jenna Haggar's assistant Isaac Latterell from Tea. District 6 will show how well the Tea Party fares.
- Lutheran Pastor Karen Soli, coordinator of the Food to You Mobile Food Pantry in Sioux Falls, has filed to run as for District 15 House as a Democrat. Mmmm... that's Rep. Jenna Haggar's district. Maybe Soli can replace Haggar and provide some balance to District 9's Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey.
- Tony Heinert of Mission and Whitney Meek of Wood both filed to run for the sole House seat in District 26A as Democrats. So far, Meek and Heinert face the only Legislative primary between Democrats.
- Speaker Val Rausch filed to challenge incumbent Senator Tim Begalka in a District 4 Republican primary. Recall that Begalka supported Rep. Stace Nelson's very public challenge to Speaker Rausch's authority on ethics questions in the House this winter.
- And as an extra special ballot treat, we have not one but two new laws facing referral drives! Teachers and others are ready to petition HB 1234 onto the ballot, but surprise! They are joined by the generally unsuccessful Rep. Brian C. Liss, who wants us to vote on HB 1133, a measure establishing the Legislature's Planning Committee. The PC (ah, the abbreviation is tip-off #1) is to study long-term issues related to legislation. I'm sure Rep. Liss will step out to explain how this reasonable bit of long-range thinking is really a Communist Chinese plot to make us all fat.
Candidates have until March 27 to file their papers. Folks wanting to overturn decisions of the Legislature have until June 18 to get their referendum petitions to Pierre. Keep on knocking, everyone!