From the Mitchell Daily Republic, Democrat Troy Heinert is making noise about running for US House, and his allies seem to have selective amnesia in reference to one of South Dakota’s statesmen of years past.
During a gathering at the Fort Randall Casino & Hotel, state Sen. Troy Heinert was called a “rock star” by state Rep. Shawn Bordeaux. Bordeaux’s statements were followed by former state secretary of tribal relations and current director of tribal relations for Avera Health, J.R. LaPlante, who said the state will need to see a minority candidate in statewide office before South Dakota achieves equality.
After the trio offered remarks Friday, Heinert said he hasn’t ruled anything out. But he didn’t officially throw his trademark cowboy hat into the ring in the 2018 race for the state’s at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
But 44-year-old Heinert, who has served in both houses of the South Dakota Legislature since first taking the oath of office in 2013, would instantly become the best known Democratic candidate in the race if he enters the field. Bordeaux or Heinert would join state Sen. Billie Sutton, a Burke Democrat running for governor, on the ballot in 2018.
“I believe that we will have equality in the state of South Dakota when white people elect a person of color to state office, and not just a district position, but an at-large position, at statewide election,” LaPlante said.
LaPlante seems to be suffering selective political amnesia in the case of Congressman Ben Reifel, a Republican who was elected as the first Lakota to serve in the House of Representatives. He served five terms as a Republican United States Congressman from the First District.
(You know, Congress. The same office he’s promoting Heinert for.)
I’d mentioned a month ago that I’d heard Dems were looking to Heinert to jump in the race, and that their potty-mouthed candidate Chris Martian was not a factor in state Dem machinations.
Looks like we already knew how it was going to play out.