Is it a little early for Stace Nelson to be running scared in D19 State Senate?


Former State Rep, former Senate candidate Stace Nelson

Am I the only one left scratching their head at the tenor of the attacks being leveled at D19 State Senate Candidate Caleb Finck by Stace Nelson, who declared his candidacy for the same office over at Liberal Democrat website Dakota Free Press today?

Ever since Caleb threw his hat in the ring, it seems as if we’ve turned back the clock, and we’re re-running the kind of attacks we saw from Nelson when it was down to the wire in the US Senate Race. (I almost expect Gordon Howie to step in and announce he’s running as an independent at this point).

Anonymous things being posted under the comments here on my website, and the same things being mysteriously submitted to the liberal Democrats who are happy to run it.  Very reminiscent of when Nelson was witnessed taking pictures of Jason Ravnsborg’s vehicle, and the photos ‘mysteriously’ appeared on a web site ran by his liberal Democrat friend Cory Heidelberger.

Fast forwarding to today, as Nelson launched into several attacks on Finck, and vowed to go after him in the election. That seems to be quite the virulent reaction to someone he derisively tries to dismiss as “inexperienced college student living a protected life” and a “young live-at-home college student.” As well as things less kind. It seems to be a bit of an extreme reaction to a new candidate for even Stace Nelson.

And that has me wondering out loud if it’s more of a case of Nelson running scared in the D19 State Senate race?

The reality is that another loss could put the boastful and ambitious Nelson out for the count. He wants to run for higher office, and didn’t do so well at his last outing.

As he tries to make a comeback, Stace should not kid himself. He has heavy baggage, and a lot of it.

Just in the past few years, he’s been accused of threatening other legislators, was kicked out of caucus, was at risk of censure, had his seat moved, was noted by the media as hiding in the bathroom during a vote he was trying to avoid, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the robocall attacks against Republican Leadership, and is still a defendant in a pending federal lawsuit over the illegally placed calls.

(Did I miss anything?)

Not to mention his conduct during the entirety of the 2014 US Senate primary, where if you weren’t with him, you were treated as his mortal enemy.   Not exactly behavior traits that help you win allies and sway your colleagues, something you’re required to do to get legislation supported and passed.

And it showed in 2014, as his legislative record took an absolute beating, as the legislature killed all of the House bills he was prime sponsor of, and they whacked several of his resolutions, which typically are viewed as merely ceremonial.

Now, two years later, Nelson is looking to reignite his fizzled political career by coming back to Pierre.


Caleb Finck, the future State Senator for D19?

The only obstacle barring his ability to wage the same kind of war in the Senate as he did the House of Representatives is Caleb Finck. By all accounts, Caleb Finck is considered an intelligent, fresh-faced, sharp young man coming back to the farm to work after college, unlike many of his contemporaries.

That’s not something Nelson necessarily has had to face in recent years. Which might explain his animus and attacks, both overt and those that are popping up “anonymously.“

A fresh faced candidate who hasn’t attacked anyone, and is simply looking to build relationships with the people of District 19, and promote its growth, with no axe to grind?

Maybe there’s good reason for Nelson to be scared.

27 Replies to “Is it a little early for Stace Nelson to be running scared in D19 State Senate?”

  1. Anonymous

    Ravnsborg brought Lee Stranahan to SD to stalk Mike Rounds and then sat quietly by while Stranahan trashed Jackley.

    Stace should clean up his act. He’s not needed in the legislature. He’s bad for conservatism.

    Brock Greenfield is the gold standard of conservatism and I hope he puts Stace in his place in the next legislative session (if Stace can beat Caleb in the primary (toss up at this point) and still win a general election). Brock is the real deal and the leader conservatives should be looking for in Pierre. He’s thoughtful and generous and kind and he doesn’t care if he gets credit. He doesn’t have to thump his chest and boast. Greenfield for leader of the conservatives! Stace should stay in Hanson County.

  2. Newspaper Reader

    Pat, you did miss this, from Dakota Free Press combined with the Mitchell Daily Republic:

    From Stace’s release on Dakota Free Press:
    “I am aware that some establishment moderates, from outside of District 19, have encouraged a young live-at-home college student to run for District 19’s senate seat.”

    By establishment moderates he must mean Bill Van Gerpen who according to the Mitchell Daily Republic met with Finck in Pierre and at his home and had great things to say about his candidacy.

    “The senator has met with Finck on several occasions both in Pierre and over the weekend at Van Gerpen’s home. Van Gerpen said the two discussed campaigning and the major issues affecting the state and district, and Van Gerpen felt confident the voters of District 19 would appreciate a representative like Finck.”

    1. Newspaper Reader

      I hit enter to soon before I could clarify that Senator Van Gerpen is a great conservative and not an establishment moderate so his comments in the paper impressed me and are contrary to what the other press release said.

  3. Charlie Hoffman

    Somehow sometime soon we Republicans need to re-visit the Reagan Doctrine and tell folks what WE believe and not what YOU should believe.

    District 23 will have a Primary this year in the House race. I’m running with two stand up Republicans who both have carried much water for The Elephant. I am hoping you consider me for one of your two possible votes. My litmus test for any piece of legislation is three fold. One it needs to fit my moral compass, two it needs to be good for the majority of the folks in District 23, and three it needs to be good for the majority of South Dakotans. Exactly in that order.
    Charlie Hoffman.

    1. grudznick

      Mr. Hoffman, you are indeed a swell conservative for whom I would vote if I could. I hear you are no mean cook, as well.

    2. Pat Powers Post author

      And you know, there’s nothing wrong with saying that. Fellow Republicans aren’t your enemy.

      1. Dakota Conservative

        Mr. Powers, did I miss something. I looked on the SOS website and neither one of these people are listed for district 19.

  4. mhs

    Calling someone working to take over the family farm while getting a degree a “young, live at home college student” ain’t gonna fly in S.D.

    1. mhs

      My dad was in the same position when a young conservative legislator encouraged him to get into politics: Joe Foss.

      Staci: You ain’t Joe Foss.

  5. A True Conservative

    Mr. Nelson’s conservative credentials aren’t the issue. The issue is his threating, aggressive personality. Sen. Greenfield is both a true conservative and a true statesman. Mr. Nelson is 100% the opposite of a statesman.

    1. Anonymous

      The contrast between Greenfield and Nelson is nothing on issues but the way they treat others is exactly why Greenfield has endeared himself to the movement and nelson is a stain.

  6. The Reaper

    This guy must lack confidence. There is no need to attack his opponent. If he would be respectful and states he looks forward to a clean race about the issues he would win hands down. But being a jerk seems to be his calling card, he’d get much further by showing respect for the process and could build some allies. The problem will be if he gets elected, not enough people will care to work with him, therefore he wold again be ineffective at best. Show some dignity Stace.

    1. Anonymous

      That is all Stace knows how to do is attack his opponent.

      Remember everyone was a plant in the US Senate race…now he attacks a young man
      who grew up in the district and has been active in College Republicans and wants to
      make a difference.

      I have not seen anything where this young man has even taken a position yet, so it is not about if he is conservative or not, we don’t know…let him tell us as the campaign goes on. But essentially Stace’s attitude is how dare he run?!

      Isn’t that why we have TARs and College Republicans so that people get involved?

  7. Liberty Dick

    …IF… Caleb even makes the ballot he doesn’t stand a chance. Someone, a real friend, should talk him into moving to a House race.
    Stace will win, the people in the area love him. The more ink you spend attempting to burn him the more motivated he will become. It almost appears this kid is being used by those with personal vendettas against Stace.
    Caleb take a serious look at who is supporting this decision. Running a primary against Stace in D19 is akin to trying to primary Sen. Thune right now. It’s a distraction and waste of time and money.

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      Rich –

      I’m not spending any ink trying to burn him. The story was about his extreme overreaction to his opponent. It was a bit much.

      1. Liberty Dick

        Would you expect anything less than overkill from Stace?
        The coverage has been spinning from the beginning. Blocking out Stace’s donation info while promoting Caleb’s… We get it you don’t like Stace. Either way this won’t work out well for Caleb or for a more unified party which is what I would like to see.

  8. Stace Nelson


    Please! Spare us the hypocrisy! I have read repeated untruths and out and out lies posted on here about me that were spread with glee.

    I have yet to see any of you clowns on here condemning the actual ugly personal attacks by Trump. So excuse me if I waive the BS flag on you bunch of Nancy’s mewling about me stating facts.

    If facts upset so many of your sensibilities, let me suggest you get to your little safe zones as quickly as possible.

    I’m in this race because people in District 19 asked me to run against all three of our tax and spend “Republicans.”

    You clowns on here claim to know so much about me and yet not one of you even know me. You cowards want to talk tough? Feel free to drop me a text or call at 605-770-7461 and make an appointment to see me in person to recite your idiotic lies and cowardly attacks.

    if you don’t want your lack of experience and wrong stance the issues to be an issue? Don’t vote like a RINO and get some experience.

    1. Jeff Endrizzi

      Mr. Nelson, your response indicates your tactics and style are the same as they were during your final years in the legislature, and during your campaign for the US Senate. Most of the attacks were based on facts, and were repeated in this post. Your skin remains very thin, and that will not serve you well.

      1. Stace Nelson

        Mr Endrizzi,
        You will have to forgive my curt responses and my lack of suffering foolishness gladly. I do not know you from Adam, and you surely do not know me. The obvious differences betwixt is is I would never believe juvenile political attacks against you based off of lies and untruths on a blog by anonymous posters and people being paid to do so.

        Saying the dishonest political attacks against me cited by Pat are factual is like claiming you are in fact a robber because you were within 20 miles of Sioux Falls during one of its many incidents of armed robbery at a casino. Yes, the lies are that asinine and that ignorant.

        My skin is as thick as that on a Bull elephant’s butt. What level of patience would any of those on here be if they saw the same disproven lies trotted out and dusted off by someone who has repeatedly claimed to be a friend, simply to once again try and impugn me for petty corrupt politics.

        Lies that I “threatened to kill” Nick Moser on the House floor with cameras and microphones occurred after I publicly outed GOP “leadership” and the former Sec of Ag for corruption. Please, someone show those tapes and produce one public police report of that. Nick Moser confirmed that it never occurred.

        I was never “kicked out of caucus” for the lie either. they waited till I wasn’t there and “leadership” edicted that I was no longer welcome in caucus.

        I was never in danger of being kicked out of the legislature, reprimanded, or censured for the lie, because contrary to the illegal actions of “leadership” in fact do not have the authority to discipline anyone. That can only occur by the whole body after a hearing and a full vote of the House.

        Hiding from a vote!? I voted twice on the bill and spoke twice on it! I was suffering some adverse affects of one of my service connected disabilities and I asked to be excused and told the House Clerk I was ill and had to use the head. That coward Gosch used tmy illness to try and embarrass me, while ignoring several Democrats and others who simply left the floor without getting excused.

        The horrendous crime of failing to put a website address on robocalls that outed cowards for voting to cut National Guard education benefits while they were in combat? A bill that I championed the public defeat of 3 times and which I made sure every veterans group in SD’s knew of the cowards who support it!? Proven I never authored the calls, never recorded them, never paid for them, never made them.

        The BS civil lawsuit? Not federal, was dismissed and refilled repeatedly, has not had any action on it in years, and was used solely to try and slime me in the senate race. The same has a current motion to be dismissed with prejudice because they have done nothing on it in years!

        If voting records, experience, and qualifications are politically incorrect to mention… Maybe you folks should consider taking up badminton.

        Not sure how this idiocy has any legs about me hiding, not the one that hid from debates, and lost count of how many times I’ve heard the moderates screaming about how outspoken I am on the floor on conservative issues. Also not one to be afraid to stand for conservative principles on the liberal blog when he asked legitimate journalist questions.

        Again, you got a bone to pick with me, you want the straight scoop? 605-770-7461

        Absent any telephone calls? May you and yours have a blessed Easter. God bless.

        1. grudznick

          Mr. Nelson, your skin seems thin as tissue paper.

          And that Mr. Gosch fellow, he’s a true conservative.

  9. Anonymous

    I can’t wait for Mr. Nelson to begin questioning Melody Schopp and the governor’s son in law. Corruption will again be under full attack in South Dakota.