Legislative District 3 in Aberdeen has become ground zero for this years’ primary elections, as newcomer and Aberdeen Home Builders Executive Director Rachel Dix has reportedly caught the wind in a way that we haven’t seen since.. Well, since newcomer Erin Tobin shellacked House Majority Leader Lee Qualm in the 2020 Primary election.
Dix seems to have strong momentum going into the last two weeks, and it was nowhere more evident when we saw this postcard from Dix, picturing her with Governor Kristi Noem alongside in a show of support for Dix from the most popular Republican among Republican voters in South Dakota.
It also shows in the campaign finance reports between the two candidates:
While Al posted about $1800 in contributions, a $1000 loan to himself, and $3250 in PAC money, Rachel Dix posted numbers showing financial support dwarfing the incumbent:
Dix came in with a MASSIVE 10-1 advantage in individual contributions of over $18,000, and similar to Al, $2300 in PAC funds.
Word is that the momentum is continuing to build for Dix, and anecdotes are popping up that Al might be feeling some heat.
As opposed to being more independent, in the last several elections Novstrup has allied himself closely with his running mates, Carl Perry and Kaleb Weis (and before the change-over in District with Drew Dennert) in more of a team approach to campaigning. This approach, while it made campaigning cheaper at the time, did not do him any good in the long run as it melded him with the pack, transferring their negatives to him by association and really removing his individuality.
Because, really.. is Carl Perry viewed by his constituents as a distinctive leader in the House? Probably not. Kaleb Weis has not been able to pass a single bill in 4 years, and probably has a dimmer view, with people questioning if he eats crayons. Now when Al needs to be his own individual, as one person quipped to me about the current team of District 3 legislators, the comment was that when you look at the group of them, your impression is that they’re pale, stale, and male. Ouch.
Dix might be a newcomer to politics, but as her opponent has focused on building his Thunder Road business in Sioux Falls (which is a great facility, BTW), Dix has been working in the community and volunteering with organizations in Aberdeen. Arguably, she’s a more active and visible day to day presence in Aberdeen, which shows with her tremendous fundraising prowess.
Keep an eye on this race as the hours tick down. This will be the one to watch as there’s the potential for a long-time incumbent to be out hustled by an up and coming fresh face.