They're dropping like flies….. How many placeholders DO the Dems have?

So far, we’ve had former Badlands Blue Writer Travis Dahle (and a shout out to Travis), Harrisburg Supt Jim Holbeck, and Representative Suzy Blake drop out from running for the legislature because they were serving as placeholders.

Now, to that list we’ve added Dick Gors of Tea, Juanita Grewing of North Sioux City, and Barb Kavanaugh of Sioux Falls withdrawing. (No word if the earlier loss of her running mate Carmen Toft from the District 10 House contest drove her from the race. Ba-dum Ching!)

So far, that’s 6 placeholders who have left the contest for the legislature, and I anticipate that we’re going to lose at least a few more.

Are we going to actually hit 10 races that Democrats couldn’t find someone willing to take up their banner for? Is that a record?

21 Replies to “They're dropping like flies….. How many placeholders DO the Dems have?”

  1. Katzy

    I don’t like the idea of placeholders anyway. If a person puts his name on the ballot, he should be serious about wanting the job. Either side has two years to find candidates between elections, and that should be enough.

  2. PP at the SDWC Post author

    Katzy – I agree 100%. I can understand someone like Todd Schlekeway getting a job mid-campaign, or even in a situation when Carmen Toft is charged with DUI after hitting a kid on a bike.

    To base an electoral strategy on it just seems “sloppy,” for lack of a better term.

    1. Anonymous

      Pat you must be smoking some of that “medical weed” you got from the Ron Paul supports because Todd is committing fraud. It is well known in Watertown he was offered and accepted his new job before the primaries. I hope he likes orange jumpsuits because that’s what he’ll be wearing when he is going to the Hill (state pen) in Sioux Falls. Think of it soon Todd will be hearing the words; Boy you sure got a perdy mouth.

      1. PP at the SDWC Post author

        I would be anonymous too, if I offered commentary that was…. well, that utterly dumb.

        How is Senator Schlekeway allegedly committing fraud in any way, shape or form? I suspect you would be closer to committing libel, than he would be in committing fraud.

        Unless you can back it up with evidence and statutory citations, don’t even bother.

  3. anon

    Don’t worry, i’m sure ben has this all figured out. Its all part of his master strategy. He will lull the R’s into thinking the D’s dont exist and then strike ramping up voter turnout to get Varilek to 37%.

  4. Troy Jones

    First, there is the practical. How do you write a law that allows “legitimate” reasons for dropping out that is so good that it doesn’t result in “automatic” wins because the law was imprecise? Or, to make sure it doesn’t inadvertently catch a legitimate reason, it is so loose nothing is able to “illegitimate.”

    Second, democracy is served by competitive races. While in the short-term it would be good for the GOP as we always seem to fill our spots with actually serious candidates, to give automatic wins to too many legislators doesn’t allow any real accountability to the people. While we can’t help it the SDDP can’t get candidates, we should still want accountability.

    Thus, leave the law alone. But, continue to point out how poorly the Dem’s are at candidate recruitment. Maybe it will inspire them to get better. And, besides who wants to win by forfeit?

    1. Anonymous

      It’s easy to blame the SDDP or the SD GOP if candidates aren’t filed but this speaks to the greater problem for Democrats among voters. They do not want to step forward and be labeled a Democrat. It’s not popular or cool right now to wear that label. There are a lot of closet Dems running for cover right now.

      I have always found it troubling how few individuals take up the oppurtinity to run for the legislature without prodding from either political party. People don’t just run for office because they want to unfortunately many have to be recruited.

      1. duggersd

        While it may be troubling as to how few individuals are willing to take the “opportunity” to run, I am not so sure it is an opportunity. I believe for many people it is a sacrifice. I am a teacher, for example. I would not want to leave my students for the amount of time I would have to be gone. It would not be fair to the students or the school district. Yeah, I know, Bill will tell you it would be an advantage for them, but that is another argument. I have often wondered whether a unicameral system similar to the one in Nebraska would make sense. But then, what would we do with the other chamber?

  5. Steve Hickey

    If a political party can’t find bona fide candidates that can meet the filing deadlines the rest of us have to meet, then too bad.

    I’ve floated the idea of bringing a bill to do away with placeholders but I get told both parties do it and there are legit reasons people need to drop out. I get that– my wife has been fighting cancer since October and unless we move into town, me leaving for 2.5 months in the middle of winter makes me wonder if this is doable for us. I’m not pulling out, we’ll manage – my point is: yes, there are legit reasons to pull out. But that isn’t what is happening most of the time with these candidates dropping out.

    So, I’d love to hear ideas/thoughts on how to rein this back in a bit yet leaving enough wiggle room in the process to accommodate situations that are legitimate. What if we required a good faith oath of honest intention of some sort that a candidate signs and files with their nominating petitions that they are not a placeholder and that they fully intend to compete to the finish line bar some unforeseen personal situation that might arise.

    Nesslehof and friends shouldn’t have August deadlines when the rest of us have March deadlines.

    1. duggersd

      Steve, sorry to hear about your wife and her fight. Good luck to you and God bless your wife. I hope it works out. I live in District 9 and have appreciated your willingness to serve.

    2. Anon

      Make candidates sign an affidavit along with their nominating petitions saying that they fully intend on running a campaign through to the November Election. This still relies on the candidate’s good word, but it would help reign it in a little.

      There ya go Steve – a little free, friendly advise for you.

    1. Anonymous

      Amen brother Lee. Troy is right. What’s wrong with a little competition? That’s democracy. Stop worrying about controlling who your opponent is or how they run their campaign. Run your own campaign, and may the best man or woman win.

  6. Spencer

    I recently asked one of the above mentioned placeholder candidates what their views were on various issues. The response was that “I better not be on the ballot in November.” I would encourage other Democrats to carry their banner forward on that quote.