2018 Watch: Does Krebs have her eye on higher office? Sioux Falls Rotarians think so after that last meeting.

In the past couple of weeks, I caught wind of an interesting Rotary Club Meeting in Sioux Falls, with guest speaker Shantel Krebs appearing before the group, making a speech that had some questioning whether it was a talk from the Secretary of State, or her Gubernatorial kickoff.

In fact, I’m told a person formerly affiliated with the State’s largest newspaper made a statement/inquired to that end.

Coverage of the meeting did make the news on KELO…

As for the future beyond that, an audience member asked Krebs directly if she would ever consider running for a higher office.

“I see an opportunity for things like zero based budgeting. I want to challenge those state agencies to do so. I want a full review of all the taxes. Why these taxes have been imposed and where do they go? That review hasn’t been done since the 1970’s, so when you say that, I think there’s work to be done.” Krebs said.

Krebs says her passion is restoring trust in government and that it begins with accountability and transparency.

Read that all here.

… but some of what wasn’t covered in the story was equally as interesting, because as she talked about what needed to take place in how state government is being run, some of the comments burned her colleagues in Pierre a bit to this audience.

The statement above about ‘no review of where taxes go since the 1970’s‘ seemed to be a somewhat acerbic commentary of the appropriations process.

What wasn’t mentioned is that I was told directly by people in the audience that she was quite pointed in comments about conflicts of interest, using the term corruption. But as also was related to me, she quickly turned aside a question by State Representative and incoming Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson who was in attendance.*

Lighting torches to challenge other offices on their budget, demanding a review about how taxes are levied and spent, and talking about how Pierre is corrupt is not what you typically hear from the State’s chief elections officer. However, it does sound like a stump speech for someone who has their eye on the Governor’s race.

Appearances like this may be direct overtures for higher office in 2018, coming at the same time when competitors such as Mickelson, and Jackley are out on the stump for South Dakota’s highest State Office.

One major difference is that while others have started or are starting to assemble campaign teams, it puts the Secretary of State in a position of potentially having to do so and raise money for it as we move through the next several months of the 2016 election cycle, and officially kick off the race for Governor in 2018.

(*Update – Now, I did have someone who was in attendance contact me, and tell me that they remember the question from Mickelson was not on conflict of interest laws, but on another topic, although they did confirm that his question was “deflected.” So I did change that to be a bit less specific.)

64 Replies to “2018 Watch: Does Krebs have her eye on higher office? Sioux Falls Rotarians think so after that last meeting.”

  1. Springer

    What type of budgeting does the state use now? I know the feds is out of control. But if the state of SD isn’t operating on zero based right now, it should be. For that issue alone I would definitely look at Krebs for governor. And also to see just where our tax dollars are going vs where we think they are going; this hasn’t been looked at for 50 years?? Unbelievable!

    1. Anon

      Why hasn’t the Governor looked at this? I think the legislature should bring a bill requiring a tax review every year. Krebs for Governor!

    2. Dem

      Krebs for governor lol, maybe Cory Heidleburger could be elected to the school board as long as we are dreaming.

  2. Anonymous

    Krebs knows more about his than anyone talking about running now. I give her high marks.

    1. Former SF Voter

      I hate to say it but when you add up the experience she has as a member of the House and Senate and the fact that she took on her own party’s problems as SOS she is the most qualified and experienced person for the job not named Matt Michels. Wasn’t she the first woman to chair an ag committee with Kim Vaneman also chairing the house while Krebs chaired the Senate?

      I can’t discount her qualifications.

    2. MM 2018

      Mark Mickelson is the best choice for Governor he has experience and accountability unlike Marty Jackley the Rounds appointee who continues to cover the Senator’s behind. Mark would clean up the problems that have given our state a bad reputation.

  3. Anonymous

    A little to fond of herself for me. However she does blurt whatever is on her mind. Kind of Trumpesque. Ugh.

  4. Anonymous

    With Krebs running, Noem will definitely go for her safe seat & stay in Washington.

    She has a lot more support statewide than Jackley & Mickelson!

    1. Anon

      I hope she decides to run she has done more in two years to clean up state corruption than Jackley has in his whole career.

      1. Cap krebs

        Jackley is the best choice for Governor and Krebs getting into the race will only hurt him. She’ll do nothing but throw corruption bombshell and hurt all the GOP candidates paving the way for mayor mike.

    1. Anonymous

      This is absurd. Do you really think that if she said Pierre is corrupt don’t you think that would have been Kelo’s quote and headline?

      1. Pat Powers Post author

        That is what was related to me from a person who was there. They’re pretty reliable, and not prone to hyperbole.

        1. Anonymous

          Hopefully, you can confirm it with two sources prior to any more attribution, although she did in fact say it, it would be very hard to dispute for anyone with their eyes open.

          1. Anonymous

            Nelson and Russell have already paid a price for confronting these issues. Krebs even acknowledging the obvious could subject her to serious professional questions and attacks. I hope no one accuses her of threatening to kill someone in the halls of the capitol, or trump up some other official character assassination.

              1. Anonymous

                No way would Shantel ever teams up with Stace….

                Russell is just fine where he is –he just took out an incumbent Senator and will be there for some time.

                    1. Anonymous

                      I wish it was Stace who was saying it, but hopefully, he’ll come around and decide to run.

  5. Anonymous

    Let the establishment-RINO attacks on Krebs begin. Or will Rounds use his RINO powers to stop it?

  6. Liberty Dick

    Hopefully she is training up Jason Williams to take over at SOS because I see a promotion in her future.

    1. Anonymous

      Would that require Williams to do something besides wander the halls of the capital out of boredom?

  7. Big deal

    Yes, a little too ambitious for my liking. Tries too hard to make the SOS job the head of BFM as well — that’s a big stretch.

  8. Ed Randazzo

    Zero-based budgeting, accountability, more transparency…..What’s not to like about that?

    The fact that our Secretary of State is not just talking about it, she’s actually doing it, is impressive and noteworthy. After the last two legislative sessions have given us the two largest tax increases in South Dakota history, the taxpayers should welcome talk of zero-based budgeting and a long overdue review of current expenditures. If some egos are bruised by that suggestion, so be it. The improvement and changes made by Shantel Krebs in the Secretary of State’s office have been swift and dramatic. Why wouldn’t South Dakota taxpayers be impressed and appreciative enough to think that she might make a good choice for a higher office?

    The ascendance to higher office in South Dakota is too often treated like the line at the DMV……..you wait your turn. It should be to choose on the basis of measurable accomplishment, good ideas and character, not longevity or familiarity.

    I have been to a few events at which our Secretary of State has spoken and I heard of what she has accomplished, what she plans to do and her thoughts going forward for our State government. I’ve never heard her suggest that there was “corruption,” only a commitment to more accountability and transparency and a clear vision on how to go about that.

    1. Special Ed

      Look at her budget over the last three years, she has gave the the highest increase in salaries in state history for a constitutional official. Good job on being an objective watch dog, you’re a tool

  9. Anonymous

    If Krebs doesn’t run for gov this time she might not have another chance. Timing is not on her side.

    So let us say she runs for reelection as SOS, wins, she is term limited in 2022, then where does she go?

    Whomever is governor, as long as they are Republican, will be running for reelection themselves.

    She would have to wait until 2026 and be out of the SOS office for four years.

    1. Anonymous

      Dave, look at her budget it’s only increased. If that’s being a conservative think about becoming a sanders supporter

  10. Anonymous

    She was just elected 2 years ago, and she’s already looking at higher office?


    1. Former SF Voter

      Can we bring my long time friend Lee Schoenbeck back and run him for Governor?

      I like people who serve as legislators. So Krebs ran and fixed the office in less than 2 years? Get in, get out and make South Dakota great again. She definitely knows what she is doing and her drive reminds me a little bit of Schoenbeck and Bill Janklow.

  11. Pat Powers Post author

    Again, keep it on topic. There’s no need for bashing. That’s what Democrats are for.

    The point is that is appears Shantel is out giving a speech that sounds a lot like she’s looking at running for Governor. Which would be a fourth (or third, depending on if you think Noem is running or not) entrant into the 2018 GOP field.

    1. Ed Randazzo

      I think that your assertion that she is “giving a speech that sounds a lot like she’s looking at running for Governor” is a judgment call as we don’t know her intent. But even if it was, why not?

      What I do know is I have heard her at least 3 times recently and her speech sounded like she was reporting what she has done. When you hear that, it’s a natural progression to think that she’s got the stuff to move up. She didn’t say that, but was responding to audience reaction and a very specific question. What does it matter whether she might be a third (or fourth) candidate for Governor? Do we want some limit on the number of candidates for Governor?

      1. Pat Powers Post author

        Ed, I don’t care how many run.

        I’m simply chronicling. I’ll probably be doing more posts on the topic, depending who else starts giving Gubernatorial stumping speeches.

        (Seriously, I say it sounds like a speech for Governor, and half of peoples heads spin off.)

      2. Ed 4 Howie

        Ed, you’ve always been one to judge early and to back the wrong horse, so if backing Krebs is like backing Howie, the guy that doesn’t or couldn’t pay his taxes, I’ll stick with jackley the real deal.

        1. Ed Randazzo

          It’s okay, don’t be scared. When you can have the grit to sign your comments and judgments with your name, we can dance.

          1. Special Ed

            So instead of defending your stance you call out an anonymous commenter to change the subject?

            1. Special Ed

              Ed, you supported Howie over Rounds and have been a Stace Nelson supporter, whichever candidate you pick for Gov will lose because of the Randazzo effect, you’re a curse on conservative politicians. Lmao

            2. Ed Randazzo

              Negative, not to change the subject. My Dad taught me a long time ago not to write something I couldn’t sign. I’ve found it to be sound advice. He also taught me never to waste my time with anyone who won’t do the same.

  12. Anonymous

    How dare SOS Krebs respond to a question from Randall Beck about whether or not she might run for office with actual ideas.

  13. Anon

    I think Cory H is correct Krebs would be a formidable candidate. If she runs Noem will stay in the House.

  14. Mark Kirkeby

    Noem kept Krebs out of the Congressional race when she became a candidate. You want a safe, almost sure bet on the plans for our current SOS. She will be the running mate for Marty when he officially becomes a candidate for Governor.

  15. Annoying

    Janklow was Ag and an accomplished attorney who never committed bankruptcy, I guess I respect that more than a failed shoe salesman

  16. Justin Smith

    I attended the same lunch at which Shantel spoke. I have no recollection of Shantel using the terms “corrupt,” “corruption,” or “conflict of interest” during her remarks. I also checked with a few other people who attended before making this post, none of whom remember such remarks. Certainly Shantel talked about problems with the status of the SOS Office when she took over. The office was woefully behind on business and other filings, a historic state flag had been stolen, etc., etc. She talked about getting that office back on track and restoring public trust in the SOS Office. Shantel went on to discuss the tax-saving benefits she realized from implementing zero-based budgeting in her office. When asked about ideas for the future, Shantel suggested that state government may benefit from zero-based budgeting across the board as well as a comprehensive review of our state-tax system. I did not read anything into her tax-review comments that could be considered “an acerbic commentary of the appropriations process.”

    As for the question from Rep. Mickelson, he asked her about SB 69 from 2015, which has been referred to the ballot this Fall. It seemed at the time like Shantel steered away from the question because it asked her to comment on that ballot measure. As our Secretary of State, however, Shantel has declined to offer comments that could be viewed as advocacy in any election, such as ballot measures. That was my interpretation at the time for her “deflection” of the question.

    A large portion of this blog post focuses on alleged remarks made by Shantel regarding “corruption,” “conflicts of interest,” and “dodging audience questions.” I was in the audience and do not remember anything along those lines. I just wanted to give my own perspective from my memory. Please note that there was nothing in the KELO article regarding Shantel making remarks like these. Like other commenters, I would guess that a Republican Secretary of State calling out state government and current politicians on “corruption” would have been headline news. At the very least, I would have looked to see those clips worked into the KELO article. Since this post references an account by someone at the lunch, I wanted to speak as someone else who was there. For the life of me, I cannot recall Shantel saying any of those things.

    1. Ed Randazzo

      Thank you Justin, for the eyewitness report. While I was not at this specific event, I have listened to Shantel speak recently on 3 separate occasions and my recollection of her remarks is nearly identical to yours.

      I also agree that the media would have seized on the alleged remarks and would have gleefully used then against her.

      This is just a gubernatorial hopeful’s preemptive strike against a possible rival. Nice try.

    2. Pat Powers Post author

      Justin –

      I think parts of your statement are addressing things that don’t seem to have been said.

      You indicate that “A large portion of this blog post focuses on alleged remarks.” I’m not sure how one sentence, or two at most, translates into “a large portion.” My eyewitness said a term was used, you don’t recall hearing it. That’s a fair difference of opinion. I got a call on that the day after it happened from a reliable source.

      As far as “dodging audience questions,” I said “she quickly turned aside a question by State Representative and incoming Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson who was in attendance.” Although, I’m told she also deflected Randall Beck’s comment about her sounding like she’s running for governor.

      You seem to be taking more issue with how statements are being characterized, including statements about challenging other agencies on their budget, and reviewing the state tax system. To me, it appears that she’s going around giving a stump speech for Governor, since SOS has nothing to do with tax policy or the budget. Obviously we disagree about how her comments should be taken, since you didn’t find her comments acerbic, but I would argue that telling people that we haven’t reviewed where taxes go since the 1970’s a bit biting for appropriators and others, since they review the budget pretty intensely on an annual basis.

      1. Justin Smith

        Fair enough, Pat. I just wanted to give an eyewitness account to address the other report you received. There were many people at that lunch who are far more intelligent than I, so I do not wish to cast aspersions on your other source. It was just a very surprising report since I heard no such remarks and several others in attendance confirmed my recollection.

        As for Shantel’s remarks on a complete tax review, I think many Republicans have been calling for that for years now. The KELO article actually includes a direct clip of those remarks and I do not hear anything biting, against appropriators or otherwise. In fact, a number of our GOP legislators this year were asking for a top-to-bottom review of the entire appropriations process for purposes roughly identical to Shantel’s stated goals. Shantel, however, just talked about a review of (1) state taxes, and (2) how the taxes are being spent.

        I meant no offense to anyone with my comment. I did feel it important to offer another perspective as someone who attended the same lunch. Speculation on a politician’s future plans is one thing, but the statements about alleged remarks on “corruption” and other topics were different. Like you, I am looking forward to a very interesting 2018 campaign season! Thanks, Pat!

  17. Anonymous

    Well, I guess she has not been accused of threatening to kill someone in the Capitol, yet.

    1. Anonymous

      Sounds like the source of this rumor has it in for Krebs. That tells me she hit a nerve at some point with them.