Primary battle between newcomer Rachel Dix versus 20yr incumbent Al Novstrup. This years’ Tobin v. Qualm contest?

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:

Al Novstrup Sdcfdisclosure by Pat Powers on Scribd

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:

Rachel Dix Sdcfdisclosure by Pat Powers on Scribd

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.

20 thoughts on “Primary battle between newcomer Rachel Dix versus 20yr incumbent Al Novstrup. This years’ Tobin v. Qualm contest?”

  1. Hopefully all 3 that have been marketed together in print and those billboards are replaced. Will CAH’s Nebraska Blog promotion of candidate Dix be a liability as it has for other candidates? She may want to publically disavow any association with that toxic blog.

    1. Al has been wasting tax dollars for 20 years by taking a paycheck from the state of South Dakota. He is a do nothing senator and a bully.
      Sen Novstrup’s lovely wife Kathy, is a registered democrat! So what do we really have going on here….
      His yard signs all say, straight talk, proven results when they should say straight BS, Zero Results.

  2. It show’s a lot on the current state of our political system when it is a major insult to associate someone with another party. I have a news flash for you all, despite your confidence, your party may not always be right. I know this will make some heads explode, but I am not liable for that.

    1. “your party may not always be right”

      True….but the party of CAH is usually wrong on everything.

  3. Al has always been an anemic fundraiser. It’s not because he doesn’t have plenty of money or connections but he just doesn’t ask. The first area many of these “conservative” candidates fail at is fundraising. They don’t ask, they don’t try, they just mail it in. Many of them win because they are unopposed in primaries or because they are unnopposed in the general. Having no real democrat opposition has made it so we frequently nominate terrible candidates as a GOP. Because there aren’t any consequences.

    Novstrup and Perry are pretty good candidates. Wies is bad. Dennert was better than all of them even though I don’t always agree with him.

    I don’t see Jon Hansen and Spencer Gosch raising $50k to help others. I do see Odenbach doing that. I see Schoenbeck doing it.

    Qualm thought he was loved by his district until someone showed him how to run a campaign.

    I don’t know that the elite of Aberdeen dropping money on her makes her a winner over Novstrup but it does make me think Novstrup is mailing it in and running a very half hearted campaign. He owes it to his supporters to try.

  4. A business man told his partner, I think we are having a good year. His partner asked, “What makes you think that?”
    The partner replied “The trash cans are fuller than normal” The other partner suggested they look in the accounting system instead of the level of trash in the trash can.

    I suggest we look at the vote totals and not the campaign reports.

    1. No one has time for your stupid metaphors. They are old, and outdated. You are nervous. You are scared. And you can’t handle the thought you could lose to a 29 year old educated woman that has more drive in her big toe than you do overall.

      But when we look at the vote totals in 12 day and you and the majority of your cult has lost, Aberdeen will be the real winner.

  5. Republican voters should not rank legislators according to the number of bills they have gotten passed.
    Since Republicans are in favor of smaller government, they should be counting the number of bills they have managed to defeat.

    This came to mind while listening to Taffy Howard explain why she isn’t considered an effective legislator because she hasn’t gotten a bunch of bills passed. She explained she is in appropriations and doesn’t have time.
    A better explanation is “because bills cost money and tell people what to do.”

    1. Can we apply this logic to any other system where we pay someone to do a job? Also, we all know this “limited government” notion is a fallacy, it is just limited government on things GOP doesn’t agree with. Taffy is the first in line to expand the MAGA agenda through legislation, and then suddenly limited government isn’t talked about.

  6. A District 3 Replacement of all 3 victory party should happen at the Circus Bar in downtown Aberdeen. Baskets of Wings galore with their famous Nuclear Wings Sauce topped off with jalapenos and an ice cold beverage.

  7. Looks to grudznick, Mr. legal question fellow, that the young lady has the gallery railing behind her, meaning she’s in the tourist seats. You need to become more familiar with the legislatures.

    (I will support Novstrup haircuts to the very end, if not the Brothers Novstrup themselves.)

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