If you can't beat 'em join 'em

Distirict 19 Rep. Stace Nelson’s recent opponent has apparently decided to do just that. After running as a Democrat in 2010 and losing, Kyle Schoenfish has now jumped off the Democratic Party bandwagon to run as a Republican in 2012. Notice his post from his Facebook page following the 2010 election.

2010 was a rough year for Democrats across this state and evidently Schoenfish was dreading another drubbing, because two years later he is declaring his candidacy for one of the two Republican House nominations in his district.

Schoenfish announcing his 2012 candidacy as a Republican

In perusing Mr. Schoenfish’s facebook page, there were several pictures of familiar faced individuals. Unfortunately none were Republican.

Kyle Schoenfish and Senator Tim Johnson

Kyle Schoenfish and Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether

former GOPer himself Scott Heidepriem and Kyle Schoenfish

Now it’s becoming clear where Schoenfish got the idea to switch parties…

This doesn’t look like the Republican Party I have been advocating for.

49 Replies to “If you can't beat 'em join 'em”

  1. Bob Ellis

    Another Democrat masquerading as a Republican. As if we didn’t have far too many of those running around sullying the GOP brand already…

  2. Now, now..

    The boy is no different than former life long Democrats that changed partys to get elected, except he is more ambitious at an early age.

    If we are going to knock this young boy for his principles written in water, should we not also point out that the Speaker of the House Val Rausch “(R),” House GOP Majority Leader David Lust “(R),” Rep. Mark Kirkeby “(R),” and former House Majority Leader Sen Larry Rhoden “(R)” (just to name a couple) were reported to be LIFE-LONG Democrats who went with their politicial opportunist principles to become chameleons to run for office?

    Well, at least the young man is a “Republican” that the RINOs can relate to.

    Principles? We don’t need no stinking principles in the Republican party!

    1. Jammer

      RINO’S everyone of them and there are several more. It is time to identify these indivduals in the primaries and vote accordingly.

      1. anon

        So, you’re saying that anyone who registered as a dem when they were 18, but later realized their mistake, should not be elected because they automatically become a “rino”??

        1. Anonymous

          Mistake? Calculated deceit as a means to an end! You missed Joni Cutler, too. It is truly a sad day for the South Dakota GOP.

        2. Jammer

          Nope – I admit that comment was poorly written and I would edit it if I could. I submitted it in haste and wish I would have written it differently.

          However, I do think there are MANY liberals hiding under the “R” label. Conservatives need to be more diligent in only supporting true conservatives and exposing RINO?S for what they really are. And as Troy has stated below, there is nothing wrong in making these ?apparent? converts carry water for awhile.

        3. Jammer

          Conservatives should use every resource available to help them determine whether the person running for office truly represents conservative principles and values. One of the things to monitor is how legislators have voted in the past. Here is just one scorecard that I found available. While it is possible to argue some of the details of certain bills, being lower on this list is not a good thing.


  3. lil wayne

    If he’s running against Stace Nelson and Jim Putnam,he doesn’t have a chance anyway ! (Thank God !)

    1. anon

      Putnam will win, but after his escapades of the past year, I can’t believe Nelson has any chance.

      1. grudznick

        Young Mr. Nelson does not seem to be one who is easily deflected from his course. If he doesn’t do like Mr Howie did when he overgodded on everybody he’ll be just fine. Just fine, I say.

      2. lil wayne

        Stace is very popular in his district,he may even beat Putnam. The escapading house leadership are the ones in trouble this election cycle.

  4. Troy Jones

    This accusation against people regarding former affiliation is getting real old. Would you have preferred Heidepriem and Jim Abouresk remain in the party of their father? How about John Thune? How about Ronald Reagan?

    Most people join the party of their family as that is the perspective upon which they were raised. Then, as issues take on a new clarity based on their lives and experiences, they find their own way.

    Frankly, whoever keeps making the character assassination against Rausch, List and now Rhode needs to either sign their name or we will just know they are slimy cowards.

    I think DWC should delete and ban the ip addresses of people who just keep repeating an unsubstantiated accusation about their motive to be Republicans.

    Regarding Kyle, if he repudiates his old friends in public, I say let’s hear what he has to say on the issues. If not, I say let’s make him carry water to the elephants for awhile before considering him for elective office.

    1. 73*

      I’m with you Troy. There are many people who register as a Dem or Republican when graduating High School and then change their minds when the issues don’t fit their belief.

      My guess is Schoenfish just wants to get elected. His personal facebook page has Mike Huether badges on it.

      What troubles me about this young man is not that he WAS a Dem it is the fact that he was so active as a Dem the last few years. That makes it hard to believe he wasn’t advocating for Obamacare, stimulus, and all the liberal amenities.

    2. Anon

      We should remember there were other parties in history that were high-jacked to promote/protect the ambitions of select people by accomplices subverting the principles and established purposes of those parties to allow those select persons to continue to gain power & influence.

      They did so by demanding critics be silenced. If critics did not shut up, they engaged in character assassination to discredit them, or abused the authority of their offices held to go after those that opposed them. When they got strong enough, they became so bold as to use physical violence to shut up any who opposed them.

      Hmmmm! An outspoken legislator removed from his committee position because of publicly opposing issues that adversely affect his district and as retaliation for having internally demanded answers on leaders’ reported misconduct?

      The same legislator tried, convicted, and punished solely in the press on wild accusations that he threatened to kill another legislator, a claim that has now been thoroughly discredited by the alleged victim? Right after going public with information implicating leaders secretly tampering and obstructing legislation in the past?

      South Dakotans see a Republican party that appears to have been taken over by people who do not support their principles of that which makes a person a Republican, that simply changed their registration to get elected. By people who appear to have never read or supported the platform and who appear to actually routinely vote against the party platform http://www.sdrepublican.org/2011SDGOPVoteReportByPercent.pdf
      (if this report is wrong, then why did leadership vote against bills to put their voting records fully online?)

      If these perceptions are wrong, then invite these people to publicly address why they became Republicans, and why they appear to vote against South Dakotans’ GOP platform.

      As you said, have them publicly repudiate their old friends.

    3. Eagle Eye

      you are the type of establishment rino bully that has ruined the republican party.

      you don’t like our posts, dont read them. If they dont like their history of being democrats coming up, then vote like republicans.

  5. Anonymous

    Stace Nelson votes with the Democrats now and runs over between votes to chit chat and chuckle at Republicans with Bernie Hunhoff. His bff is now Frank Kloucek. It’s crazy.

    1. Bill Fleming

      Psst. Don’t tell anybody I said so, but Stace would make a pretty good Democrat, actually.

      Likes to fight. Is good and crazy. Sticks up for the little guy. Just have to take those GOP blinders off on a few key issues, and show him the way to the real promised land.

      Added bonuses:

      1. He already has his Saul Alinsky lessons down.


      2. He’s big as a house and (like me) uglier than a mud fence.

      Perfect for the front row on the picket lines. LOL.

      1. grudznick

        Let this be a cautionary tale. Preliminary score cards from the Conservatives with Common Sense put him in your corner with all the hang-around-the-fort indians, Mr. Fleming, so don’t be giggling into your dinner napkin just yet.

        1. Bill Fleming

          Grudz, talk like that will land you a day in the sweat lodge, buddy. Then a cold dunk in the Wakpa Sica. Wring all that greasy gravy outta ya, pale face.

            1. Bill Fleming

              Oh please. Get your hand off that thing. You’ll grow hair on your palm and go blind.

  6. Clay Bill

    I just “love” how the SD GOP “welcomes” new members to its flock — especially those with political ambitions. One big, happy and gated community whose overly paranoid current members believe that every new addition is simply rabble.

    1. Anon2

      You hit the problem on the head, with your snarky comments. Because that is just what does happen to the point that yesterday’s most active liberal left supporter can now simply change his registration and run as a Republican, the exact opposite of what he was, and what he advocated.

      Running as a Republican should mean that the person supports the principles that make a Republican a Republican, namely the party platform. Otherwise, what good is it to have a whole bunch of people claiming to be Republicans but not supporting what SD Republicans spell out as their wishes and agenda in their party platform?

      Imagine if our armed forces accepted new people the same way, one day admittedly working for the opposition, then fully accepting them the next day simply because they put on our uniform.

      We wonder why the GOP is going to Hades?

      1. Clay Bill

        John Avlon write that the GOP would learn something if Santorum is nominated. The Republican Party, he states,would be forced to confront the fact that talk about Satan attacking America, negative obsessions with homosexuality, contraception and opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest alienates far more people than they attract. So, naturally, one would believe that Republicans would appreciate each and every person who decides to join their ranks. It is rather amazing that the SD GOP enjoys splitting members into various strata: there are the “pure” members, there are Tea Partiers, there are RINOs and there likely are other subsets of the GOP in the state. Are the “pure” Republicans made up of those who support the party platform? How are the other subclasses of Republicans identified? By some legislator’s goofy voting scorecard?
        South Dakota Republicans — the majority party in SD that devotes nearly as much, and maybe more, scrutiny and mistrust to its fellow members as it does opposing political parties.

        1. Bob Ellis

          It was the liberal RINOs who split up and divided the party. They decided Republican values were beneath them, that they were too sophisticated to be identified with such provincial concerns.

          The rest of us remain where we?ve always been: embracing Republican principles and goals.

          1. no standards?

            How does one go from being far left with Tim Johnson, Mike Huether, etc, and then claim that a person supports the SD republican party and their platform to the point you run as a republican? Is it that simple as changing party registration and Tim Rave and Tony Post embrace you as a full republican with all the rights?

            Has anyone considered Lust and Rausch’s old political leanings when looking at the mess they created in the House this year? Especially when Nelson is considered to be one of the most right leaning people in office? Lucky the Soviets never had such success in infiltrating our government.

            1. Bill Fleming

              I’m starting to think maybe Ellis, Nelson and Sibby are closet lefties. I’m not sayin’ that’s good, I’m just sayin’. LOL.

      2. squibby

        I dont’ give a rip if someone changes party but this kyle fella smells fishy.

        And he looks douchie…

  7. Gary Jerke

    I may be going out on a limb here but all or nearly all of you who have posted thus far I suspect do not know Kyle personally as I do both he and his family. Kyle served as my page when I was in Pierre and I speak from a position that I would challenge anyone to be as non-RINO as I am. I made mistakes in Pierre. Many of us did but I have visited with Kyle and he is the real deal. You don’t have to be afraid of him. Kyle I would suggest may want to clean up his over emphasis on some of his good friends photos but I would also suggest that those you wonder about most would be best kept close by your side. I wish Kyle well in the campagin.

    1. real deal?

      Clearly Republican principles are optional.

      2 years ago he was clearly the real deal Obama Democrat.

      When you say “clean up” his photos showing his support of liberal Democrats, what you are really telling him is hide who he really is.


      1. Anonymous

        I’m sure Rausch, Lust, Gosh and Cutler will think he’s the real deal. He’s as true blue as they are.

      2. Jammer

        Perhaps somebody should review the 87 signatures on the petition he filed to get on the ballot. That just might give a little insight into how conservative his support base is.

    2. Anonymous


      Do you know what his positions on issues are? Obviously he filled out survey’s last go around.

      I respect you opinion sir but this kid smells “fishy”.

  8. Stace Nelson

    @Toga Sorry, been busy.

    I will run on my record of being a life-long public servant and Conservative Republican, Mr. Schoenfish can run on his record as a Democrat.

    “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Ronald Reagan 😀

    1. Bill Fleming

      Hey Stace, do you have a buddy named George from Alexandria? I think he was over at Cory’s place looking for you this morning. (Must have taken the wrong turn at Albuquerque or something.) Larry and I tried to make him feel at home, but I’m not sure he was all that impressed with our hospitality. LOL.

  9. Gary Jerke

    Since some of you have questioned my support of Kyle let me share with you where I stand. I appreciate Stace and from info I have heard he is as much if not more sothe victum as the culprit in this last session. I personally believe he is a solid conservative Republican who I support. I also do not want Kyle to hide his photos but believe a few “good” republicans need to visit with him and once having done so share there image with him if he is not “fishy”. For now until the campaign proves otherwise I will continue to support him from my having known he and his family for my entire life.

    1. what!!??

      So this kid was a liberal Democrat two years ago, supported everything that opposes the Republican party, but now he is a Republican you are supporting!?!?

      No comments that he is a good Republican, cause he cannot be, so we should vote for him because you know his family!? Is this what the Republican party has come to? Not what is best for South Dakota, but close your eyes to the fact he is a kid that just wants to play representative!?

  10. Eagle Eye

    I too am curious as to how this young man can represent the ideas of the republican party when he worked so hard last election to elect against what many of us have tried to accomplish. What possibly can such a young man bring to Pierre when he is not even sure what party he wants to support? Is he aware of the major differences between the parties? If so, why was he a democrat. If not, then why is he changing parties? Either way! Obviously not a good republican or any type of good candidate for office!

    1. Les

      It’s a fact you can tell a tree by its fruit. If this young man took a new limb, let us wait and see the fruit it produces, he has time on his side to prove the case.

      Our party stinks of willing acceptance. We are a faux GOP.

  11. Gary Jerke

    This will be my last post on this young man but I had to share some final thoughts. First any who may doubt my dedication to traditional conservative values need a brain check so I do not say what I do lightly. Second, I am not asking anyone to vote for him based on my knowing his family. Question him on his stances and then vote your heart. I do know that many if not most of his stances are more “Republican” than many (perhaps most) of our current GOP reps. as shown on the chart of those who voted with or against the Republican platform. If we are going to attack this young man then lets be honest enough to look at others in detail who have switched or have even been “GOP” for many years. By looking at someone based on old photos (whether still on display or removed) and a former label (Democrat) and defining who he is, is arrogance at the highest level and drives many , like myself, who have been loyal Republicans to be driven out of active participation in party politics. Enough is enough. My posting is over on DWC.

    1. Anonymous

      Gary Jerke is a great man. I truly respect him.

      I do not care for Schoenfish but Gary holds sway with me.

  12. Troy Jones

    Representative Jerke,

    I don’t recall you on here defending Speaker Rausch and others because they were once Democrats. Look forward to your comments in this regard.

    1. Anonymous

      Were democrats? Support of Obamacare in South Dakota? Support of driver’s licensing requirements? Support of vehicle registration increases? Support of illegal aliens? Hostility toward placing all votes on line? Against the parking lot gun bill before he was for it? (little John Kerry)

      If you didn’t know the name and party, I’d bet you’d thought he was on the other side.

      1. Anonymous

        I don’t care if Jerke supports him or not. I like Jerke and that’s the end of it for me. Schoenfish is a tool and he seems to be ok with that… Jerke on the other hand is a principled conservative who has fought hard for causes I believe in.