All statewide elected Dems…..raise your hand….anyone?

As an astute reader mentioned in another thread — Steve Kolbeck — PUC commissioner and  the only statewide elected Democrat serving in South Dakota has taken a job in the private sector.  (it’s with a telecom company —and I’m sure some other bloggers would be tied in knots if a Republican did this…..Cory)  However, I am more than happy to offer Mr. Kolbeck my congratulations and best wishes.

So….let the suggestions begin….and no I don’t think the Governor’s chief of staff will be in the running — although I’ve heard he’s qualified.

57 Replies to “All statewide elected Dems…..raise your hand….anyone?”

    1. Anonymous

      I’ve heard rumors Shantel Krebs might be on the short list (Obviously for good reason). If she is on this list it would be great for her to get the nod, win over convention delegates, fulfill her committment and win a statewide PUC race and then run for Congress. She would be a tough person to beat in 2014 if Noem runs for Senate if the PUC stuff goes her way.

      There are a lot of scenario’s out there but I would assume she’s on a list of people.

      This PUC nomination could really be a springboard for any number of folks who have desire to run statewide office but it will take a good candidate to hold the PUC seat.

  1. CaveMan

    Great picks ANON but you missed Senator Jason Frerichs, Representative Steve Street and Former Representative Rich Engles. Enough bully pulpiting for fairness on my part though in all honesty picking a Dem to fill the spot would be the right thing to do.

  2. Name

    Well I know Senator Schlekeway and Senator Russell Olson know the issues when it comes to energy.

    I’ve always held the belief that Schlekeway was probably the frontrunner for this position amongst delegates if he were to run for the nomination at convention. I wouldn’t see anyone challenging him. The threat of facing a challenger like Schlekeway is probably one of the factors in Kolbek’s decision to hang it up now.

    Russ Olson is probably less known to the delegates but is a great guy and as Senate Majority Leader he would be a solid choice and do very well himself.

    There is no way Kolbeck could win in 2012 against a top tier challenger like one of these two legislators.

    Those are my top two guesses.

    1. Knowledge of energy issues
    2. the appointed person needs to win over delegates and hold on to the appointment.
    3. They need to be able to win a statewide race.

    Either of these guys would do that. Most others i can think of might face a possible convention challenge.

  3. grudznick

    I think this could be the thing that puts Pat Powers back in the political power position he had before becoming the puppet master of SOS. I think that DD is probably taking a good look at PP for this PUC thing.

  4. MOSES

    kolbeck did the old switcher roo just like Dusty, did he get a higher paying job.Maybe these two could run for Gov no it wouldnt be enough money.

  5. Guard

    Maybe Brendan Johnson will run for Governor in 2014? Lord knows we need Stephanie back in the House because this current one we got…she is so out in left field.

    1. Name

      The dems need to have a really strong crop of candidates in 2014.

      Herseth for Senate
      Brendan for House

      they are both in play then and maybe they would get one of the two? They also should hope for a Rounds/Noem primary and a really crowded and aggressive GOP primary for House.
      If Noem runs for Senate and Rounds runs for House than the D’s are done.

  6. Name

    I’ve talked to a couple really great people who were strongly considering running for PUC in ’12. If they aren’t picked I wonder if it would deter them from seeking the nomination?

  7. 73*

    I agree Schlekeway would be a very credible selection.

    It’s good to be a Republican. The D’s would have like 2 people to choose from. The GOP has a lot of good choices. It might be best to go with a legislator in a safe R district.

    1. Stace Nelson

      God bless you! Thank you Cornerstone, I am truly flattered; however, Pierre can only handle a couple months of the big ugly guy at a time. 😀

      The governor has some great people to chose from. One of my favorites would be that big fella from Eureka, Rep. Charlie Hoffman. Sen. Corey Brown is one of the sharpest people serving. Rep. Sean Tornow is another one that comes to mind as a very capable public servant. If Democrats are to be considered, Caveman hit on a few; however, Rep. Spence Hawley comes to mind.

      My personal thanks to PUC Steve Kolbeck for his service. I delt with him on a couple issues. He was very helpful and a true professional. My best wishes to him and his family in their new venture. God bless & God speed.

  8. Mom

    Do you think that Schlekeway would be willing to move to Pierre?

    What about Jason Glodt? Good guy, great values, works hard. Knows the issues. (Nice and pretty wife.)

      1. anonymous

        I kind of like the rumors about Schlekeway running for Mayor against Huether in SF. I don’t think Dusty, Kolbeck or Hansen live in Pierre. I also don’t think Jarrod Johnson lives in Pierre.

        Either of those guys would be great.

  9. CaveMan

    One would assume that after having the power to push and pull legislative traffic in Pierre for seven years that Glodt would be quite bored arguing with power companies over fairness and environmental issues. Plus he would be OVERQUALIFIED!!

    The real question with Senator Schlekeway; ” Would Jill move to Pierre?”

    1. Stace Nelson

      Jason Glodt or Lucas Lentsch would be excellent people for the job. Both are awesome public servants that South Dakotans would be well served having in that position.

      One of the most impressive things about our governor is that he has gathered some of the best people to work for him. Sign of a truly qualified leader.

      1. anonymous

        I agree with you about Lucas Lentsch but don’t see it happening for some reason. I almost think it has to be someone like Glodt or a legislator.

        1. anonymous

          I’ve heard rumors Lucas was strongly considering running for PUC at convention anyway so it would be wise to appoint someone who was getting ready to do the hard work of winning a convention and a statewide race.

          1. Stace Nelson

            Not just anyone; however, Lucas is a sharp South Dakotan. South Dakotans would be well served with him in any position of service. I believe he also has wide support in the state already, which will be needed to run for the regular term of the office.

            Hopefully the governor will appoint Rep. Hoffman to the GF&P Commission someday, so we need to keep him in reserves. 😀

  10. Les

    I would guess Kolbeck ran from the PUC for about 4 times the money, and, because he understands that our party would castrate his opportunities given the chance, regardless of the quality of service he brought to the SD PUC.

    I now see how that all plays out by the vocal GOP’s here wishing to use it for a stepping stone rather than thinking of the knowledge needed to testify before Congress on very important issues for our rural state.

    With Dusty at DD’s right arm, you can bet the most qualified person will take those reigns.

  11. caheidelberger

    The above mention of Frerichs and other possible Dems is worth considering. Grab a Dem legislator. Stick him or her in the PUC, which isn’t a great position for advancing the Dem agenda. Think about it: when’s the last time you heard Steve Kolbeck really making waves as a Democratic agitator? Plus, by appointing a Dem legislator to PUC, DD then can handpick a Republican for that legislative seat.

    And as for being tied in knots, Kristi, is that kind of like how you get all tied in knots about the Noem family’s dependence on farm welfare checks? Or Noem’s vote in favro of extending government power through the unconstitutional Patriot Act? Or a foreign corporation’s use of eminent domain to take away land rights of South Dakotans for its private profit (TransCanada)? Please, don’t presume to tell me what issues I ought to blog to satisfy your wishes until you start showing up and backing your purported conservatism with some consistency and substance.

    1. PNR

      Patriot Act isn’t unconstitutional. Foreign Corp. isn’t using eminent domain – the state is (for the corporation’s profit and on the assumption that it’ll be profitable for the state, too). Goes back to KELO decision (not the local radio station) where Supreme Court ruled (wrongly) that taking land from one person in order to give it to another because the second person will pay more in taxes is acceptable under the Constitution.

      The rest – have a point re: Noem. But if a GOP guy left the commission to take a job in one of the industries that commission regulates, do you really think you wouldn’t find that objectionable?

      I would. And I really don’t think it’s entirely appropriate in this case, either.

      1. Les

        What can the poor guy do, leave the commission and become a ditch digger PNR? Steve is a qualified telcom guy, no longer with the PUC, maybe you can still castrate his opportunities?

  12. grudznick

    Jim Hundstadt is probably going to run for the dems and could wipe a lot of smiles off our Republican chops if he wanted to. I’m told he’s as sharp as the Dems have.

    1. ***Draft Jim Hundstad for US Senate 2014***

      Why would we Democrats waste our one good candidate on the PUC? If we ran Jim Hundstad for PUC it would be disastrous. Sure we’d win (that is a given with Hundstad). But we would be wasting so much political power and potential. The guy is an advocate for farmers, teachers, small business owners and good patriotic Americans. The 3 legged stool of tax? He is from the Daschle and Herseth area of Brown County.

      Jim Hundstad is one of the greatest orators in the history of the SD Legislature. He leaves people in awe with his vast knowledge of the issues. He can take a complicated issue and explain it in no more than a matter of hours without interuption.

      The guy has a pumkin chucker (trebuchet)… Why would we waste the talents of Jim Hundstad on a campaign for PUC when he is so obviously qualified and suited to being a US Senator?

  13. Name

    This stinks. He makes sure Qwest gets to screw the rural telecoms and then he takes a job with them (Qwest now Centurylink).

    1. Anonymous

      I think they all have too much upside and that is why they won’t be picked.

      We’ll get a Christ Nelson type candidate who won’t be a contender for an open seat in 2014’s congressional race.

      1. Name

        We need to focus on who would not be a good candidate for anything but PUC and we will find the appointed person.

        meaning NO charisma and NO ambition.

  14. insomniac

    I would agree with the people who brought Jason Glodt’s name up earlier. He is becoming more and more of a real possibility in my opinion. Everyone likes the guy, he’s smart, works hard, would be solid with delegates and would campaign really hard.

    I’m not sure his wife would be thrilled but Glodt is deffinately someone to consider.

    Originally I thought it had to be a legislator but Glodt is a top notch person who would deter all others at convention.

  15. anon

    I’d really like to see one of our younger people get the nod who are currently serving in the legislature or Glodt. Schlekeway, Olson, Krebs, Brown. I’d really like to see Lucas Lentsch get it also. If they don’t pick one of these folks a place holder would be preferable.

  16. MacGregor

    Why not John Koskan? He got almost as many votes as Kolbeck did when they both ran for PUC. He be good on there and understands the issues.

    1. anon

      Which ever person is chosen I think it should be someone who has shown a willingness to campaign or would be able to hold the seat at convention or in the general.

      Several of the people mentioned to run would be very difficult if they still chose to run at convention.

    2. Les

      I could be wrong thinking of a different John, but I don’t remember him impressing anyone in the debates I watched. Again it could be my faded old memory Mac.

  17. William

    It’s rather interesting to see the PUC position “kicked around as a stepping stone”.

    It’s always been an important position, although I’m beginning to feel a discounted one, and I’m troubled by that.

    I probably didn’t realize the importance of the PUC until Dusty won the office and I got to know him better. This is NOT a PLACEHOLDER position, at least not if we’re smart about it.

    Our Governor will place a qualified person in the position, of that I’m sure. He’s probably going to place a Republican in the position (why not??)!

    It IS a rather “wonky type” of job, that operates behind the headlines but is, in reality a critical job for the state.

    Was Chris Nelson a “political choice”? Well, probably he was, but he’s also the type that does the homework to DO the job and not just add it to his political resume.

    Yes, the person chosen will have to win a general election to continue in office, but incumbency in office does hold its advantages.


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