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Prominent District 16 Voters Ignore GOP Obama Tactics, Endorse Democrat Tornberg

Last updated on 2014.10.31

It's not just Mike Rounds who shouts "Obama!" to get votes. The South Dakota Republican Party is fanning anti-Obama sentiment in the District 16 Senate race to protect Senator Dan Lederman from strong Democratic challenger Ann Tornberg.

The desperate measure of trying to nationalize a state legislative contest may not be working. Tornberg is posting endorsements from registered Republicans:

Roark for Tornberg
Tony Roark, Republican, Jefferson City Council

I serve on the Jefferson City Council. I believe in local control and as far as possible, for those in Pierre to leave local decisions to local city officials. I was disappointed in Dan Lederman when he sponsored Senate Bill 75 which prevents local governments from regulating certain dog breeds like pit bulls. Jefferson and North Sioux City had local ordinances which banned certain dog breeds. What really bothered me was that when I spoke to Sen. Lederman, he said he wasn’t even aware that we had these laws in Jefferson. I’d like to think that my Senator would at least know what the local laws are in the communities he represents. I’m a registered Republican, and I’ll be supporting Ann Tornberg. I sincerely believe she’ll listen to us, and will advocate for local control.

—Tony Roark, Jefferson [Ann Tornberg for District 16 South Dakota State Senate, Facebook post, 2014.10.30]

Unlike Pat Powers, when I use the plural in my headlines, I mean it. Here's Republican for Tornberg #2:

Melstad for Tornberg
Dennis Melstad, Republican, Dakota Dunes

I look at the candidate and vote for who I believe will be best for District 16 and South Dakota. I will vote for Ann Tornberg for the District 16 Senate race.

—Dennis Melstad, Dakota Dunes, Registered Republican [Ann Tornberg for District 16 South Dakota State Senate, Facebook post, 2014.10.27]

Tornberg draws an endorsement from another of Lederman's Dakota Dunes neighbors:

After talking to Ann several times during the 2013 Legislative Session as a legislative assistant and many times during this campaign season as she travels the District, I'm thoroughly convinced she has an in-depth understanding of the issues facing our District and the State. She approaches all issues the same way - from understanding the facts and fundamentals of an issue to reaching out to those affected by it - she is methodical in her approach. I look forward to working with her in the future.

—Jeff Dooley, Dakota Dunes Resident [Ann Tornberg for District 16 South Dakota State Senate, Facebook post, 2014.10.28]

While the SDGOP and Lederman fret about our President, Lederman's neighbors, Republicans included, are voting more on the candidates' engagement in District 16 and their knowledge of local District 16 issues. "Blame Obama!" has its limits, and Dan Lederman may be about to bump into those limits against Ann Tornberg.


  1. Dave Baumeister 2014.10.30

    Go get 'em, Ann!!

  2. Jana 2014.10.30

    Oh my goodness! Ann's endorsements are big deal. A quick text to an old friend informs me that Dooley and Melstad are not just citizens...they are the business end of the Dakota Dunes...and normally very good Republicans.

    Word is that Lederman hasn't decided if he wants to be in Pierre or Sioux City with who he chums around with...but he is seen as just using the Dunes for his own little self serving power trip.

    The other thought was that Dan the Bailman is just too extreme for the Dunes given his puppy like infatuation with cantaloupe calves Steve King.

    I asked if they didn't like Lederman because of his close association with PP of the War Toilet and the response was who?

    She is also a Republican voting for Ann.

    Go Ann!

  3. Thomas 2014.10.30

    District 16 is huge and Lincoln County will carry Lederman.

  4. Jana 2014.10.30

    That might be Thomas...but the stand up people in the know...the people who know Lederman best. Well, they don't like him and have the guts and intelligence to stand up to the party and stand on principal.

  5. MJL 2014.10.30

    Thomas, if you look at the past, Lincoln county has typically supported Ann in the house races. The main stumbling block has been the Dakota Dunes that voted 60-70 percent for the local person. Lederman needs strong support in Dunes area. Ann will do very well in Union county around Beresford, Alsceter, Elk Point, and even in Canton.

  6. mike from iowa 2014.10.31

    And hopefully she won't cavort and consort with iowa's dipshit congressweasel Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King.

  7. mike from iowa 2014.10.31

    Some of my blood is in Dakota Dunes as I type this. Does that give me residency in South Dakota so I can vote for Dems there?

  8. Bill Fleming 2014.10.31

    Mike, buy a mailbox and a square foot of ground in your relative's yard, vote absentee and you're in like Flynn. ;~]

  9. Union Co 2014.10.31

    On October 16th I attended the Legislative Candidate Forum at the Bridges in Beresford. The panel of candidates consisted of Ann Tornberg, Lederman, Bolin, and Anderson, but only one candidate noticeably stood out. Tornberg demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the issues by stating relevant facts and statistics. She even offered possible solutions to some of the problems facing South Dakota (while Lederman sat silent). Ann definitely should become our new Senator for District 16 as she will do a great job representing us.

    She supports the 2nd Amendment, agriculture, and education. She does not support an income tax for SD as stated by her opponent. The Lederman attacks prove he is worried.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.31

    MJL is right about the Lincoln–Union breakdown. In the 2012 House race, Tornberg came in second in Lincoln County, beating Patty Miller. Miller won only because of stronger support in Union County. Tornberg beat Miller in 8 out of 11 precincts in Lincoln County. In Union County, where Tornberg lives, Tornberg won one more precinct than Miller, but Miller whooped up in two big precincts (which Gant doesn't have labeled but which I'll assume are Dakota Dunes/North Sioux City, Miller's home turf. If Tornberg is cutting into the Dakota Dunes vote, Lederman should be scared.

  11. Roger Elgersma 2014.10.31

    Dan introduced the bill for shared parenting and I am totally for that. But then I found out he was for pit bulls and cage fighting, I was perplexed that such a violent person was for good decent Dad's spending time with their kids. Any Dad would be for that but the violence was not the face I wanted to be for a good thing. Then after I testified in the first hearing he told me that I had changed the mind of the committee chair. But before the next committee hearing he told me behind closed doors that I was not to say a thing this time because he wanted all those for it to agree. Well it was such a watered down bill that I told him that I would be against it because it simply was not good enough. So I testified anyways.

  12. JeniW 2014.10.31

    OMG, Dan is actually advocating abusing animals, and worse yet, advocating animal abuse for entertainment and gambling purposes?!

    He can believe anything he wants to, but I sure hope that he is not practicing what he believes by participating in animal abuse.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.31

    Another Powers favorite, Jenna Haggar, is losing core Republicans. DWC reports that three former GOP legislators (Munson, Nicolay, and Abdallah) have endorsed the Democratic contender in the District 10 Senate race, Mike Schultz. "Strong, stable, effective," those Republicans say about Schultz. Apply the antonyms to Jenna Haggar, and that's strong language!

    So are Republicans waking up from the poisonous delirium of one-party rule?

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