It’s Primary Election Day In South Dakota

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  This is primary election day in South Dakota with the polls open from 7:00 to 7:00 local time.

     In Fall River County, Hot Springs Mayor Bob Nelson is challenged by Randy Luallin with Ward 1 city councilman Larry Pratt facing David Teachout. Both the Hot Springs and Oelrichs school boards have 2 open positions and 3 candidates. 

     For the Hot Springs district, incumbents Bob Preuss and Zac Bell face challenger Brian Jardin while Oelrichs has one incumbent, Jennifer Her Many Horses, and two newcomers, Katie Merdanian and Marty Schommer.

     District 30 State Senator Julie Frey-Mueller, targeted by attack ads from Senate President as a Republican In Name Only despite a strong conservative voting record, is challenged by State Representative Tim Goodwin, who says she doesn’t support Gov Kristi Noem enough.

    There are 5 Republicans vying for the party’s 2 general election spots for House District 30: incumbent Trish Ladner, Pat Bauman, Lisa Gennaro, J-R Herrick, and Dennis Krull.

     Statewide, Gov Kristi Noem, U-S Senator John Thune, and Congressman Dusty Johnson – all generally considered strong conservatives – face challengers in the Republican primary who say they aren’t conservative enough. 

    Johnson touts his conservative voting record and ability to work across party lines, but State Representative Taffy Howard of Rapid City has tried to paint him as a foot soldier for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

     Thune was blasted by former President Donald Trump after dismissing his election fraud claims. He drew no high-profile opponents and one of the ones he did get, Mark Mowry, was among the crowd that demonstrated near the U-S Capitol on Jan 6.

   Noem is considered a potential White House prospect, leading her chief opponent and state lawmaker Steve Haugaard to argue she’s spent more time trying to build a national profile than focusing on being governor. Noem’s mostly ignored him. 

       Primary voters will also decide whether to require future ballot measures that raise taxes or expend more than $10-million dollars within 5 years of enactment to pass with a 60% majority.

      The measure was placed on the ballot by the Legislature with leaders drawing criticism for putting it in the primary election instead of the general election, when many more voters are expected to take part. 

. The proposal creates a showdown over direct democracy in a state where voter-initiated laws were pioneered but where Republican leaders have strongly opposed most recent measures and severely amended several the next year.

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