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Democrats Lagging in Legislative Candidate Recruitment; 89 Seats to Go

Last week, Democrats had 12 candidates filed for seats in the South Dakota Legislature. This week, with just six days left until the March 25 deadline, we have sixteen. Eight in the Senate, eight in the House—89 slots left to fill. Nervous yet?

Since last week, the Dems have added one Senate candidate, Aberdeen city councilman Mark Remily challenging GOP chamber-crosser David Novstrup in District 3. Remily made news last summer offering a hard, honest critique of Aberdeen policeman and Rep. Dan Kaiser's effort to exclude same-sex couples from domestic violence protections. (Rep. Kaiser voted for such protection in this year's successful Senate Bill 7.) Remily and District 28's Oren Lesmeister are the only wholly non-incumbent Dems running for Senate so far (incumbent Rep. Scott Parsley is seeking to cross chambers from to Senate in District 8).

In the House, Rep. Kathy Tyler now has Democratic company on the District 4 ticket, thanks to Revillo nurse Peggy Schuelke. District 15 Rep. Karen Soli filed her papers last week for another two years in Pierre, as did District 27 Rep. Kevin Killer.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have candidates for 23 out of 35 Senate seats (including two fighting for District 29's spot! Yay, primaries!) and 38 out of 70 House seats. District 29 has more Republican candidates than seats in both races (Rep. Gary Cammack and Susan Cheshier duking it out for Larry Rhoden's Senate seat; Rep. Dean Wink, Wanda Blair, and Tammy Basel fighting for two House seats), so they get two primary races (what fun!). Republicans have 42% of the Legislative slate to fill, Democrats 85%.

Democrats, if you haven't picked up your petitions yet, you'd better do so. Find the nearest gathering of Dems in your district, find where the Weiland, Robinson, Lowe, and Wismer volunteers are circulating, and double up on petition time!


  1. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.19

    Intel coming in: Richard Schreiver reports there should be a District 6 House Dem on the list by tomorrow! And I hear we may have two Dems fighting for a Senate seat out west....

  2. Kal Lis 2014.03.19

    I have it on pretty good authority that District 18 will have a full slate of Dems.

    I'll do a brief post about one of the House candidates when the SOS site indicates the petitions have been approved.

  3. Mike B 2014.03.20

    Cory, you comment on the Republican dominance of SD all the time. It would seem to me that you can't blame the citizens for not voting enough Democrats into the legislature if there is no candidate willing to step up and run in so many of the districts.

  4. Merlyn Schutterle 2014.03.20

    The skunks in district 23 haven't been challenged since I don't know when. We have a one party state.

  5. lesliengland 2014.03.20

    why don't more democrats run? is there anything in it for them in SD? there are fewer of us. not the party of big dollars. maybe our fundamental role year around at the county level is fronting a full slate of candidates and running mates. just thinking out loud.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.21

    Keep thinking out loud, Leslie... and do that thinking in front of fellow Dems who might need some inspiration to run.

    Mike, you are right: people can't vote for Dems if Dems don't run. We need more Dems to realize we aren't as small of a minority as the current Legislature might make us think.

  7. Mark Remily 2014.03.21

    Here is a thought for all of you. Only the independently wealthy can afford to run. The job pays a measly $6000.00 per session with work that continues throughout the year. My job as Aberdeen city council pays $8500.00 per year. If I win this senate position I have to take a pay cut of $2500.00. I am not wealthy. But I agree with the rest of you. Democrats need to find a way, or nothing will change

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