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Compromise reached in candidate selection law debate

Lee Strubinger

House lawmakers reached a compromise on South Dakota election laws with an amendment to Senate Bill 40.

Currently, political parties choose candidates by convention.

SB 40 originally sought to make it so statewide candidates were chosen by a public vote.

On Thursday, the House whittled down the bill, only allowing the governor to choose their running mate. Other candidates will continue to be nominated by state convention.

Rep. Jessica Bahmuller presented the amendment. She said both the amendment and bill are necessary to retain the state's current process.

“As I stand here today, I am 0.0004 percent of the population that dually elected me. I am one of 24,132 people that sent me here to press a button, and that is why I strongly agree with our electorate and process that we currently have, and I am not alone in believing our lieutenant governor should be chosen by the governor,” said Bahmuller.  

The bill passed the House in a 48 to 21 vote. It now heads back to the Senate for approval in amended form.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.
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