Rep. Schaefer Dies In UTV Accident Working On His Ranch

May 30, 2018

Representative James Schaefer
Credit sdlegislature.gov

State Representative Jim Schaefer of Kennebec has died.

The governor’s office says Schaefer died in an accident while working on his ranch near Kennebec. He was one of two people who died.

Representative Kevin Jensen of Canton sat next to Schaefer in the legislature. He says Schaefer thought deeply about issues being voted on…

“I know a lot of time during debate, or before or after debate, he would lean over and he’d ask my opinion and we’d have some discussions. We didn’t always agree, but he always gave every bill that came up a lot of consideration. The pros and cons. But I think what he was really searching for in every answer was how is this going to effect the people.”

Schaefer was a strong advocate for rebuilding the M-R-C rail line from Chamberlain to Presho.

Schaefer served in the House of Representative since 2011. He was term limited in the statehouse after this year. Schaefer circulated petitions for county commissioner in Lyman County.

Governor Dennis Daugaard will order flags to fly at half-staff on the day of his funeral.