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!