Take me to your Caucus Leader – House GOP Caucus Elections tomorrow

That was fast. No sooner is the ink drying on the election results than the House GOP Caucus is preparing to elect their Leadership, with House GOP Caucus elections set to take place tomorrow in Pierre.

Who is running? My spies tell me that as of this morning, here’s the roster of those who have thrown their hats in the ring:

  • Speaker of the House: Steve Haugaard & Mary Duvall
  • Speaker Pro Temp: Kent Peterson, Spencer Gosch & John Mills
  • House Majority Leader: Lee Qualm & Jean Hunhoff
  • Assistant Majority Leader: Tim Reed & Arch Beal
  • Majority Whip: Nearly a dozen legislators are said to have expressed interest

This could shift as people change their mind, but this is what I’m hearing at this moment.

Still waiting for word as to when the Senate elections will be scheduled, and how those races will shape up.

Getting back to the Conservative Caucus… so, how did Tuesday go?

I hate to bring it up… but if you recall, the founding chair of the breakaway Conservative Republican Caucus PAC is (was) State Representative Elizabeth May:

And she didn’t do as well in her campaign as in previous years, as she finds herself not coming back to Pierre from Tuesday’s election results:

Does this mean that the caucus set up to compete against Republicans is going to remove themselves from the House and Senate caucuses, including the election of Majority Leaders, etc.?

Or are they going to let the whole thing die a quiet death before we return to session in January with it’s founders and donors glad to let the subject drop in favor of being a unified GOP?

US Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: Election Wrap up and Look Ahead

Election Wrap up and Look Ahead
By U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) 

As Americans, we recently participated in one of our country’s most sacred traditions: voting for our state, local and federal elected officials. Closely coinciding with Veterans Day, we also recognize that it is because of our men and women in uniform that we are able to participate in our election process. Like so many elections past, the 2018 election was filled with seemingly endless advertisements, unexpected twists, some upsets and many long hours on the campaign trail for the candidates and their teams.

In South Dakota, voter turnout was nearly 10 percentage points higher this year than our last midterm election. We made history by electing our first female governor, Kristi Noem. South Dakotans also overwhelmingly voted in Dusty Johnson to be our next Congressman. Congratulations to them and to all the candidates who won their races this year. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with both Kristi and Dusty over the years, and I look forward to continue working with them to advance South Dakota priorities and improve the quality of life for hardworking families.

It takes courage to run for elected office. To all candidates who put their names on the ballot, no matter what the outcome, we thank you. To those who volunteered for campaigns, worked on campaigns or supported candidates throughout the process, we thank you. And to all who voted to make their voice heard, weespecially thank you. Our election process is only as good as the men and women who participate in it.

Campaigns often highlight divisions between candidates and parties, for obvious reasons. With the election now behind us, it is time to put our differences aside and work together on the most pressing issues before our country. All sides of the political spectrum can agree that we want to work toward policies that make us safer, stronger and more prosperous for the future.

In the immediate future, Congress must still complete its work on the farm bill, which provides our farmers and ranchers with much-needed stability and certainty. We must also work to finalize trade deals and open new markets to sell our products. While we made significant process this year on getting our appropriation work done on time, a number of appropriations bills are operating under a Continuing Resolution until December 7, thus requiring Congressional action to prevent a partial shutdown of government services. Additionally, South Dakota families continue to be concerned about rising health care costs, largely due to failing Obamacare policies. Recent discussions about birthright citizenship and the caravan of Central Americans headed to the U.S. have highlighted the need for comprehensive immigration reform that is merit-based, prioritizes border security and reduces chain migration. And we are constantly working to make certain our military remains the strongest, most powerful force in the world. To be the most successful at addressing these issues, it will require all sides to work in good faith and with respect for opposing viewpoints. We are Americans first, and we must always remember that what unites us is far more powerful than the issues that divide us.

I look forward to welcoming our newly-elected officials in the coming months and continuing to work to make South Dakota and America even stronger and better than it is today.


Augustana Dems accused of erasing speech they don’t agree with

This just popped up in my Facebook feed. Apparently, Augustana University dems think they get to decide what is free speech, and anything they disagree with is to be obliterated.

It was noted that it was reported to Campus Security.

Maybe there are some young democrats who need a remedial class on the Constitution.

Will Democrats be looking for new leadership after yet another disastrous election? We hope not.

Interestingly, South Dakota Democrats expressed some unhappiness just before the election with their current leadership, as embodied by Chairwoman Ann Tornberg, Director Sam Parkinson, and others who we’re not sure exactly what they were being paid for.

Such as here…

Turning to the South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP): While I hate being the bearer of bad news, someone has to report it. The SDDP held a State Central Committee meeting in Rapid City on September 22nd in conjunction with its annual Buffalo Round-Up Dinner and they failed to make a quorum. They needed 14 counties for a quorum but only 12 attended the meeting. Notably, except for Charles Mix, no representative from a County with a dominate Native American population attended the meeting.

Read that here

And here…

One thing is certain. If a democrat wins, it will not be because of anything the South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) did. Despite promises and a $50,000.00 grant from the National Democratic Party, it failed to increase Democratic voter registration in South Dakota or build an organization that can Get-Out-the-Vote. If Democratic candidates win, they will have done it on their own.

Win or lose, Democrats need to clean house at the SDDP and rebuild the party into a relevant organization. Democrats in an urban county need to be equal to a Democrat in Harding, or Hyde, or Haakon counties. Currently the SDDP governs itself on the basis of one county, one vote. It needs to change immediately and govern itself on the basis of one person, one vote. Only then will it be able frame policies that appeal to both urban and rural voters. In short, the SDDP needs to become democratic.

Read that here at Drinking Liberally Sioux Falls.

As a Republican, I would wholeheartedly endorse Ann Tornberg being reelected to another 4-year term of office as chair of the SDDP.  With continued clean sweeps, and maintaining the number of Republican legislators at near impossible numbers election after election, she’s been great for South Dakota Republicans!

Release: Gov. Daugaard Orders State Capitol Flags At Half-Staff For John Timmer

Gov. Daugaard Orders State Capitol Flags At Half-Staff For John Timmer

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard is ordering flags fly half-staff at the State Capitol on Saturday, Nov. 10, to honor the life of former state legislator John Timmer.

Timmer, of Sioux Falls, represented his district in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1980 to 1992. He was the Republican nominee for U.S. House of Representatives in 1992.

Timmer was 87 years old and passed away on Monday, Nov. 5. Visitation will be held on Friday, Nov. 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. CST at Community Reformed Church in Sioux Falls. The funeral will be on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. CST at Community Reformed Church in Sioux Falls.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a fund for a future walking path at Trail Ridge Senior Living Center in Sioux Falls.


Defeated Senate Candidate already poor sport, already name calling on his opponent.

I know I mentioned this last election after Cory Heidelberger waited a couple of days to and started calling his opponent in the District 3 State Senate Race names.  This year, Cory only made it until 6:30 AM this morning, the day after the election before he started the name calling.

People really don’t care for a sore loser. Maybe that’s something that Cory should consider for the next time he decides to take on Al.