District 14 House – The sleepy race that just woke up with a bang!

As you might expect, I’ve been watching the Legislative races, knowing that they can go from 0 to 60mph in a moment’s notice. And that was the case today, where the Republican primary in District 14 went from a sleepy-no-primary-June to a hard fought battle in which the two incumbents might end up with a horse race that could threaten them.

In House District 14 in Sioux Falls, Larry Zikmund and Tom Holmes were looking as safe as safe could be in their incumbency, which was won in last election season’s primary and then general elections.

But, there were rumblings. You hear them in several races, but it’s all rumbling until it goes past that.  I had heard last week that former Citibank attorney Dave Zimbeck was contemplating the race, but little more.

And this afternoon? Boom. Not only did I hear that he has petitions out and circulating for the GOP State House Primary in District 14, but I subsequently heard that Paul Ten Haken, Founder and CEO of Click Rain, has petitions out for the contest as well.

That just turned a sleepy non-contest into a four way free for all, in which the two top vote recipients walk away with the Republican nomination, and a chance at the big prize in November, which is the primary winners’ to lose. (We are a Republican red-state, after all).

So, put the District 14 House race on your radar. As it’s the sleepy race that just woke up with a bang!

36 Replies to “District 14 House – The sleepy race that just woke up with a bang!”

  1. MK

    Holmes and Zikmund are going will be difficult to beat. They have proven to be honest and stand with Republican principles. Better get your walking shoes on and be prepared for a great race.

  2. anon

    South Dakota doesn’t need any more bald-headed big mouth bad boy lawyers or corporate dogs in the legislature. Holmes and Zikmund are both down to earth good guys. I’m gonna send them both a check.

  3. Anonymous

    Larry Zikmund is a stand up guy and solid republican who has helped the party for many years. Locally and across the state Larry has been there helping republicans each elections cycle.

  4. Pat Powers

    No one is saying Larry and Tom aren’t good guys. But the fact is they are probably going to be in a primary.

    1. Anonymous

      Ried Holein is an emerging leader in the conservative movement. He’ll be tough to beat after 6 years of being rock solid in his principles.

      1. anon2

        The question Watertown republican voters must answer is if Mr. Holien’s values and voting record is consistent with the majority of Watertown republicans. Elections = accountability.

        1. Mr. Underhill

          anon2, do not underestimate the number of people who do not like this tax increase. You may not agree with Sen. Holien’s stance on the issue, but at least he was consistent with were he stood on the issue. Which is more than what I can say about other RINO’s in the state house.

          This is Duggard’s way of getting back at Senator Holien for voting against the tax increase. If you doubt me read Bob Mercer’s article on the how the votes went down for senate leadership.

          1. Anon2

            Mr. Underhill, the only thing that’s important in Mr. Holien’s primary race is the extent he represented the views of his Watertown constituents and his ability to convince of this. My views are irrelevant. It’s interesting you automatically jump to the tax increase, when the reality is very different.

              1. Mr. Underhill

                anon2 is reality the transgender bill? Is reality the tax cuts to insurance companies that give scholarships so kids can go to a private school?

                Just curious……………

  5. Troy Jones

    Holmes and Zikmund are good guys AND good legislators.

    This just shows the depth and quality of the GOP bench. How many contested primaries do you think the Dem’s will have?

  6. Anonymous

    Off topic, but I was reminded in the second to last paragraph that Republican states are identified as red states; didn’t we used to be the blue states? Wouldn’t it be more proper to call Democrat states red states as that party aligns much more closely with Communism? Just curious.

    1. Michael Wyland

      That’s why the change was made, mostly by the media 1970s and early 1980s (much more monolithic in the pre-Internet days when urban cable TV was an innovation and no one used satellite dishes at home).

      1. crossgrain

        Was interested, so did a quick bit of research:

        Looks like the 2000 election was where it switched. Found another site that specifically said Tim Russert started it in that election cycle. Looks to me that it was indeed a liberal move to switch colors, as just about everywhere else in the world uses red for leftists, and blue for the right. Dunno what real difference it made – the Republicans either didn’t notice or care at the time, and have since worn the red with aplomb.

  7. Observer

    Most people couldn’t pick Holmes or Zikmund out of a legislative line up. A real choice for Dist 14. Do you want to send leaders or followers to the Legislature.

    1. Anonymous

      Most people couldn’t pick any legislators out of a line up. That means nothing.

      This primary looks like a case of republicans trying to eat their own without good reason.

    2. Lee Schoenbeck

      Most legislators, certainly in large communities, wouldn’t have name and face ID. Larry and Tom have both been good legislators. Tom is one of those thoughtful Everyman types, kind of like he could be a Jimmy Stewart in Mr Smith Goes To Washington.
      This isn’t a criticism of either of the challengers. I know and respect both of them. No individual owns any legislative seat, the people do and they will decide – between 4 good choices – who the GOP contestants will be for those seats.

  8. Paul Ten Haken

    I thought I would chime in on this and at least put one of the challengers to rest 🙂 While I have been collecting petition signatures, I’ve simultaneously been having discussions with my business partners, wife and close confidants about this race. In short, I am not moving ahead as a candidate at this time. Those on this thread are very correct in that Larry and Tom have served the district well and from all I have heard, Dave Zimbeck is another top-shelf guy. District 14 is in great hands!

    1. Lee Schoenbeck

      Paul, you would have been a very fine legislator, or should I say, you WILL BE when the future works out for you to be able to serve

  9. Troy Jones


    When I saw your name, I see extraordinary talent and solid values. I hope you stay engaged. There is a need for you in service.

  10. Anonymous

    As a resident of District 14 and someone who has met numerous times the members of its legislative delegation and carefully watched how they have voted, I have concluded that Zikmund is a true gentlemen but a moderate conservative who too often goes along with the crowd who is willing to increase our taxes and grow the government, Holmes is an intellectual lightweight without any discernible political ideology, and Soholt is a fraud because she claims to be a conservative but she is actually a moderate liberal. I do not know if Zimbeck is a conservative, but Zikmund’s and especially Holmes’ votes will cause me to give him serious consideration. More importantly, I would love to see Soholt be beaten by a true conservative.

  11. Troy Jones

    Some of the most conservative people in politics don’t have an ideological bone in their body and don’t think ideologically. They apply the skills they use every day and their life experiences to reach conclusions on a case-by-case basis. When presented with an issue they ask three questions and if any is no, they vote no:

    1) Does this serve the public good?
    2) Should the government being doing this or should it be done by someone else or another way?
    3) Can the government do it effectively?

    As a party, we need both flavors of conservatives in order to communicate beyond those who are already in our camp. In my opinion, ideological conservatives often do not connect with people who we might migrate to our position but are good at motivating those who are in our camp.

    Zikmund is quite conservative by inclination/ideology but has a soft-spoken manner which belies what lies beneath. He cajoles people subtly without fire and brimstone.

    Holmes is similar to Zikmund in style but darn smart where it is manifested in how much information he takes in up to and until he makes a decision. I don’t remember what they call that personality type but it is a mind always in process.

    1. Anonymous

      Very well said Troy. I agree that both types of conservatives you outlined are needed in the party. Both are needed to keep the party grounded and going to far afield as well as to reach out to persuadable legislators and voters.

      District 14 is well served.

    2. Dakota Conservative

      Mr. Jones, you have some good points, but would add #1 to that list, be it federal, state, or local. Does it pass constitutional muster first before you apply the other 3 you listed.


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