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Candidates For US House Debate


Candidates for the United States Congress met Thursday night on SDPB Television for a debate that covered more than one dozen topics. Both women are offering their perspectives on the federal government’s relationship with Native American tribes.

Democrat Corinna Robinson says members of Congress must focus on the issues people in Indian County find important. 

"They are not getting the funding they need to continue their language training, their cultural training in their institutions, their colleges, and they would certainly like some help with that," Robinson says. "They would like better health care. They have to drive a long ways sometimes to get to a nearby clinic, or, when an emergency happens, there’s not an ambulance close by.  They certainly struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. And we certainly need to do a better job at listening and visiting hearing their concerns."

Robinson is running against incumbent Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Both women say federal officials need to respect tribal sovereignty. Noem says she wants to ensure Native Americans don’t fear that federal organizations can come into businesses and claim jurisdiction on reservation land.

Both women who want to represent South Dakota in Congress are weighing in on the health threat that is Ebola. Noem says she supports airport screenings, but she says that may not be enough to protect people in the United States from a deadly disease. 

"I would certainly support a travel ban from those countries. It’s important that we keep America’s health our number one priority and that we protect Americans and do what we can to contain this virus before it spreads any further, and I also think people want to hear straight talk and straight information from this administration," Noem says. 

Noem says she thinks people are frustrated with conflicting information coming from the CDC. 

Robinson says the federal government can’t neglect the threat of Ebola, and she supports the way authorities are informing health workers and everyday citizens. Robinson says it’s important Americans living or traveling away from US soil are protected from the virus and can return home quickly and easily. 

Tune in to Dakota Midday on Friday, October 17 for a rebroadcast of the debate audio on SDPB Radio. That's at 12 p.m. ct/11 a.m. mt. 

Watch the debate online now at

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).