Here’s some interesting scuttlebutt that’s coming across in the Steve Westra District 13 withdrawal. It sounds as if that State Representative Alex Jensen may have the blessings of good timing for a return to the ballot box.
Jensen had looked at running in the D13 Senate race, but given that he was in the middle of getting married, and moving, etcetera, he thought is would be best to take a step back, especially given that Jack Kolbeck was also a good candidate for the office.
Fast forward several months. There was no need for a primary, and Jensen is now a married man, albeit, one who is not running for office. And Steve Westra, a man who has a house seat in the district in which Jensen now resides, has now decided to take a step back.
As one door closed earlier this year for Jensen in making a decision to not run for the State Senate, it appears that another one may have just opened in the same district, just in the House.
Having served on the appropriations committee, Jensen has a good handle on the State’s finances, and a good working knowledge of the process, likely better than that of most other contenders for the seat. He’s got good connections to the Sioux Falls business community, and is visible as a local Realtor.
And more importantly, Jensen is a tremendous campaigner and fundraiser, which counts for a lot when it comes to winning the seat. Last election, as a new candidate who had not run for anything, he raised in the neighborhood of $30k. Now with a couple of years under his belt, he would have no trouble fending off any Democrat effort in the district with the open seat at hand.
There may be others who step into the race to replace Westra, but they would be hard pressed to bring what Jensen has to the table in terms of name ID, fundraising, and campaigning.
Watch for the replacement to be held sometime next week or shortly thereafter. And as far as I’m concerned, my bet is on Jensen for the win.