The ever more contentious District 3 House primary.

Not sure what’s going on up in District 3 in Aberdeen, but it seems that the Republican House race is getting downright contentious.  Republicans Dan Kaiser and Drew Dennert have effectively teamed up in running for the two house seats, leaving candidate Todd Kolden as the odd man out.  

There are advantages and disadvantages to running as a team in an election, and as State Representative John Sears (who passed away in 2013) related back to me way back when.. his District mate Republican Representative Alyce McKay had approached him wanting to run at team as well.   Alyce was quite…  well, let’s just call a spade a spade; she was flat out a very liberal Republican.  

She had approached the more conservative Sears, wanting to run as a team. And as Sears noted, he refused, and bluntly said “Alyce, I don’t want to shovel your dog s***.”  In other words, he was concerned with his own race without having to carry her extensive baggage as well.  Sears went on to win, and Alyce? Not so much.

Returning from memory lane, and getting back to District 3, the point is as above that there are disadvantages to running as a team that odd man out Kolden could be using to turn the race in his favor. But instead, he chose at one point to jump into Facebook and vent his frustrations:


Kolden went on from there, but basically he was taking issue with Kaiser because he’s a police officer, and there’s an inference he would abuse his authority.

Now, Kolden, did take try to walk it back…


..but as one of my Aberdeen correspondents noted “Just because they are deleted doesn’t make them go away.”

Aside from the fact is might not be a prudent move to be overly critical of the person you hope to be running alongside two months hence, it gives the impression that things aren’t going well in the campaign.

It’s not as if there’s a policy difference of Kaiser’s that Kolden is coming out against as if he were directly challenging one or both of his opponents. It’s one thing to say “My opponent believes X and I believe Y, and that’s why I’m the better choice.” It’s entirely another to be kvetching on facebook that the other guys are buddies, as if anyone cares if they’re leaving you out of their reindeer games.

Is there any hope for Kolden at this point? Well, there’s always hope. If he wanted to turn it around, my advice to Kolden would be to spend every waking moment going door to door, and then swamp every likely voter with messaging the last 2 weeks of the campaign.

And stay off of facebook. Period. Using it isn’t helping.

17 Replies to “The ever more contentious District 3 House primary.”

  1. Todd Kolden

    You are absolutely correct Pat. I made a mistake and let my emotions get in the way. I hope to rectify that in the coming month by continuing to go door to door with my views. Thanks – Todd

    1. Anonymous


      The real question I’d ask is is Dennert old enough to run and do you think aberdeen will elect a 20 year old?

      1. Anonymous

        That is a main concern of mine. I’m sure he is a good kid and a great party volunteer but do I want someone who has been coddled, growing up in a very protected environment without many life experiences legislating their strict ideology and religion on the rest of us? We have seen enough of that in Pierre.

      2. DR

        HE is 20. State law requires you be 21 by either election day or the day you take office, which he will be

  2. Anonymous

    Todd is a good guy and would make an excellent legislator, would really take the time to listen and serve to those in his district. He has years of various experiences to draw on. I believe besides the school board he is new at running for office at this level. Mistake made, learn from it and drive on! 🙂

  3. Spencer

    I really do not think it is Facebook exchanges like this that are getting Kolden in trouble. His biggest problems in this GOP primary are his proclaiming to be a “moderate Republican” and a past voting record that would suggest that his running in a GOP primary is a point of mere convenience than the resultant of any guiding principles or beliefs. He should elaborate what exactly he is going to be “moderate” and “open minded” about once elected. His fellow Republicans have a right to know. How about the right to LIFE? And other issues? That would do wonders toward stomping out the whisper campaign against him. Who can blame them? I look at his statements, and he looks a lot like another Stan Adelstein in what he is saying. I doubt it is a coincidence that Cory is cheerleading his campaign on the other blog either.

    1. Anonymous

      A Heidelberger endorsement/promotion is a toxic pill for campaigns. Best to distance one self from that.

    2. Anonymous

      Spencer, this guy is a Deb Peters’ “Republican” which means he should be running as a Democrat.

      Anyone who pays attention to SD politics knows that Kaiser is a Republican’s Republican. Kolden attacking Kaiser for being an actual Republican tells us all we need to know about Kolden.

      Another RINO we don’t need in Pierre.

    3. Todd Kolden

      Spencer, I shared the below issues about 3 weeks ago. I have no idea what you mean by my “past voting record.” Voting where? Open minded meaning, I don’t have a personal agenda and will listen to any ideas/thoughts on issues. Too often legislators push their personal agenda and I don’t believe that belongs in the legislature. And yes, I am personally against abortion.
      As for being compared to Senator Deb Peters, I would welcome that. She has proven to be someone who gets things done…and is not afraid to cross the aisle for the sake of doing what’s right.

      For the People, Serving South Dakota

      I feel it’s an honor to have this opportunity to continue serving the district and state I grew up in. Before I provide a synopsis of where I stand on issues, I want to point out that I have no personal agenda (personal agenda’s do not belong in the legislature), I have an open mind and always listen to my constituents.
      The statements below are not all inclusive and I will not commit to legislation one way or another until I see the details of what is being proposed.

      • I support Veterans.
      Our state has done a good job supporting veterans but I believe we still have room to improve. Improve healthcare, specifically suicide awareness and assisting veterans overcoming this crisis. Improve job opportunities, specifically strengthening veteran’s preference in public employment and improved assistance in their transition from military to civilian life.

      • I support K-12 Education.
      The 2016 legislative session took a huge step in addressing the teacher shortage. It was a very difficult decision to raise the state sales tax, one that I mulled over very seriously. One thing to remember, this wasn’t directly related to raising teacher salaries, it was to become competitive with our surrounding states, recruiting quality teachers and retaining them. I put my trust in the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Task force and would have supported their recommendation. I am not one for raising taxes but at some point you have to ask, are we serious about addressing this or not. As I said, I have an open mind and would have listened to any and all options but in my opinion, there was never a viable option presented (new funding and being sustainable). I think as Republicans, we should be proud that our state still has one of the lowest sales tax base in the country. However, I do feel the legislature should have had more time to debate the Governor’s education package, specifically HB1182 and SB131. I would have supported a conference committee to further address SB131 and the amendments that were presented. I’m always happy to discuss this further. With that being said, I don’t feel we are done with education funding.
      I also support school districts having firm local control.

      • I support Government Transparency.
      This has been near the top of my list for the past number of years. Representative Al Novstrup (Senator later this year), has been at the forefront of this transparency push and I support what he has done thus far. He realizes more needs to be done and I would most likely support him. But again, I would need to see the details of any proposed bill before getting on board.

      • I support Economic Development.
      Simply said, this would include better paying jobs, improved business climate (in particular, small businesses), improved training for those seeking skilled jobs, and filling those hard-to-fill skilled positions. I have 12 years of experience in this area and would bring this to the legislature.

      • 2nd Amendment Rights.
      I have always supported the right to bear arms and always will. I admit, I don’t beat the drum on this issue because I’ve never felt threatened to have my guns taken away or restricted. However, if I ever felt that threat, I would meet it head on.

      • Medicaid.
      I do not support expanding Medicaid at this point, simply because from what I see, our state can’t afford it. Again, I’m willing to consider any proposed legislation.

      • Community Support.
      I would generally support legislation that would provide better support and control to our counties and cities. Again, details…

      • Agriculture/Farms.
      I have never farmed but know many who do. Farming and agriculture are a huge part of our state and quite frankly, they have a large hand in feeding our state, country, and the world. I would support legislation that keeps our agriculture industry striving to be successful. I believe that if agriculture is successful, it will assist our state being successful.

      • Fiscally Conservative.
      Simply said, you don’t spend what you don’t have. Reserves should be preserved and used only when absolutely needed. Increasing taxes is not the answer.

      • Methamphetamine abuse.
      This destructive drug needs to be further addressed. The “Meth” dealers need to be removed from our society and we need to assist the users in getting the help they need to break their addiction.

      For the People, Serving South Dakota

  4. Troy Jones


    A common Saul Alinsky trick is to infer you are the preferred choice of someone outside the “family” to get the “family” to rally against you.

    P.S. I don’t know enough about you or Dennert to have a preference between you. I’m just giving you an idea of where it is coming from,

  5. anonymous

    Dan is a great guy but unfortunately belongs to the just vote no club without offering a solution .