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Smith, Quint meet in SDPB Gubernatorial Debate

Two of the three candidates for South Dakota governor took the stage Monday night in the SDPB Gubernatorial Debate.

All candidates were invited. Democrat Jamie Smith and Libertarian Tracey Quint took part in the hour-long debate.

Incumbent Republican Gov. Kristi Noem declined to participate. She took part in a "Salute to Veterans" event in Sioux Falls Monday evening.

Noem veterans event
Slater Dixon
Gov. Kristi Noem (R, S.D.) declined to take part in SDPB's gubernatorial debate on Oct. 24, instead taking part in a veterans event in Sioux Falls.

While Smith and Quint agreed on many social issues, the two differed on the role of government in several areas - including education. Quint said state money should follow students, even if they enroll in private schools.

"If we allow for more choice in educations, allowing for kids to choose different types of schooling—because not all kids learn the same way, not all kids are able to thrive in a public school environment—if we allowed the tax dollars to follow the children to whatever kind of school they learn best, in I think more teachers would stay in the State of South Dakota,” Quint said.

Smith said teachers need more support from the state. That includes better pay.

“We need to trust our teachers to teach. We need to trust our school boards to be school boards. That’s where it starts,” Smith said. “As a state we need to fund that education, right? And we are toward the bottom again and that’s partly the way the formula is written."

The full debate can viewed above. It will also air on SDPB radio Tuesday at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. CT.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.