The District 28 swap-out. Maher to return to Senate

Former District 28 Senate Republican Ryan Maher turned in petitions yesterday to become “new” District 28 Senate Repubican candidate.

Maher is said to be replacing Betty Olson who is passing on running for another term in the State Senate after a long career in the State Legislature. 

Maher, who originally started out as a Democrat, came home to the GOP in 2010, and has been consistently one of its most conservative members.

Interestingly, Maher’s colleagues always thought he was in the wrong party to start:

…Maher landed the support of Senate GOP head Russ Olson of Wentworth, and was given the post. Olson now says he knew Maher was truly a Republican five minutes after meeting him.


As for his party switch, Maher said was a pretty natural process, though he doesn’t give himself over completely to GOP values either.

“I didn’t buy into the Democratic philosophy. My voting record shows I don’t really buy into the Republican philosophy. I’m more of a libertarian. It’s like the ranchers out there — independents,” Maher said.

Olson said he’s never had any question about Maher’s political beliefs

“As a legislator, Ryan has always been a true conservative with his voting. I believe the John Birch Society had him ranked consistently more conservative than most Republicans, including me,” Olson said. “Ryan has been a fine legislator, whether he was registered as a Democrat or Republican.”

Read it all here.

Ryan is a good egg, and it will be great to see him back in Pierre.  

The only sad thing is Senator Betty Olson giving up another run. Agree or disagree with her, Betty has always been entertaining, and a dose of reality in a legislature that gets too caught up in politics at times.

3 thoughts on “The District 28 swap-out. Maher to return to Senate

  1. bret clanton

    Will he just BECOME the new senator or will he potentially have to go through an election process?

  2. Tony Sayer

    He’s a pretty decent guy with a good track record. Voters in District 28 will be served well enough but at what point is this sort of thing just like tasting the soup on a beard three days after the meal? I mean, what’s the point of having term limits if it only means some steward is elected to keep the chair warm for a couple years. There has to be someone in that district that that can do the job without turning to left-overs. Like I said, he’ll probably be just fine but at what point does our election process here in SD not smack of exclusivity. Perhaps replacing the term senator with say Thane or Baron would be more fitting for what we see now. So what, he locks up the chair for for all the terms permitted, takes a little recess and starts over again. When business contracts are issued in such fashion they use the term monopoly. He will do a good job I am sure however if good prevents the next Prairie City or Lemmon residing Reagan or Lincoln from say from ever seeking that seat due to the hurdle of popularity then good enough simply becomes an impediment to great. At what point is that not “good enough?”