Campaign 2012 Candidates

Now that South Dakota voters have rejected a one-cent sales tax increase, the campaign manager for Moving South Dakota Forward says he’s not sure how his organization will proceed.

Andy Wiese says even opponents of Initiated Measure 15 tend to agree that South Dakota needs to do more for education and Medicaid. They just don’t agree on the mechanism for funding.

He says Moving South Dakota Forward wants to continue the conversation and work with the legislature to restore funding.

One of two constitutional amendments approved by voters Tuesday night changes how cement plant proceeds are paid out.

Proceeds from the 2001 sale of the state-owned Rapid City plant were put into a trust fund, and constitutionally, 12 million dollars a year were transferred to the state general fund.

Representative Jacqueline Sly of Rapid City says locking in 12 million dollars resulted at times in a mandated dip into the principle.

Democratic challenger Matt Varilek lost his bid for South Dakota’s U-S House seat.  Varilek fell to incumbent Republican Representative Kristi Noem by 18 percentage points Tuesday.  Varilek addressed supporters in Sioux Falls after conceding defeat.

U-S Representative Kristi Noem won a second term in Congress Tuesday night.  Noem defeated Matt Varilek in the general election for the state’s seat in the House.  Following her victory, Noem thanked her supporters in Sioux Falls—and reminded them much work remains.

As South Dakotans decided on state representatives and several ballot initiatives last night, many local proposals around the state were voted on as well. One proposal voted down was a project to bring a 5.3 million dollar events and fine arts center to Chamberlain. Chamberlain School superintendent Debbie Johnson said the center would have brought many activities and educational programs to the area.

Kristie Fiegen Announces Victory

Nov 7, 2012

Republicans were able to win both Public Utilities Commission contests during Tuesday’s/last night’s elections. About an hour after Chris Nelson claimed his victory…commissioner Kristie Fiegen announced hers. Fiegen has served on the Public Utilities Commission for over a year…and now adds a six year term. Fiegen says South Dakotans can expect her work ethic to remain unchanged in the upcoming years.

Democrats Make No Significant Changes This Election

Nov 7, 2012

The Democratic Party might have fared well on the national stage…but South Dakota Democrats were unable to make any significant changes in Tuesday’s/last night’s elections. Matt Varilek fell to incumbent Kristi Noem in the U-S House of Representatives race. Both Republican candidates won in the Public Utilities Commission contests…and Democrats gained only one seat in the state senate. Ken Blanchard is a political science professor at Northern State University. Blanchard says the current climate of state politics in South Dakota make it difficult for any Democrat to win elections.

South Dakota voters resoundingly disapprove of education overhaul passed during the 20-12 legislative session. Referred Law 16 failed this election, with nearly 70 percent of ballots opposing the measure. State Senator Deb Peters ran her re-election campaign unopposed. She championed the sweeping measure H-B 12-34 during the session.

Democratic Matt McGovern says he is proud to be a voice for the environment. McGovern lost to Public Utilities Commissioner Kristi Fiegen. McGovern says he is only thinking ahead to the short term.
"Well tomorrow I’m gonna sleep in and then after that I’ll be just getting back to work in my law practice. I’ve got a couple cases that are gonna be getting busier with in these next couple weeks, says McGovern. So that will be my main priority going forward for now. 
McGovern says he is unsure if he will run again but he says it is a realistic possibility.

Democratic Congressional challenger Matt Varilek thanked the supporters and congratulated Kristi Noem on her reelection victory. Varilek says he is unsure what his future holds.

Frank Kloucek Loses Bid for Senate

Nov 6, 2012

Longtime Democratic Legislator Frank Kloucek from Scotland lost his bid for the State Senate in District 19.  Kloucek lost to Republican Bill Van Gerpen – who took home sixty-percent of the votes.  Kloucek was a Democratic leader in the Legislature, he put forward several bills each year and served in the political arena for over two decades.

Chris Nelson Claims Victory

Nov 6, 2012

Holding more than 60 percent of the votes with just over half of the precincts voting, Public Utilities Commissioner Chris Nelson claimed his victory shortly after 9 o’clock Tuesday/last night. Nelson says his experience that he’s gained on the P-U-C made him the best candidate to represent South Dakotans. He says his service over the years has gained trust among citizens and he’s working for the state. As he heads into the next four years on the commission, Nelson says he’ll be working to protect the state against federal regulation.

South Dakota Republicans felt pretty comfortable Tuesday/last night as they watched the state races results come in. Early results showed the South Dakota presidential race going to Mitt Romney…and South Dakota’s lone House of Representative seat staying in the hands of incumbent Kristi Noem. Dusty Johnson is the governor’s Chief of Staff. Johnson says along with the two national races, South Dakota Republicans were excited for the results in the state legislature.