Thrice-warmed over leftovers are back – Joe Kirby and the Jungle Primary are going to try yet again.

I don’t think there’s anything more likely the week after Thanksgiving than re-heated leftovers that have been lurking around the fridge, but provide meals of diminishing quality. Which is why it’s not unexpected to see Joe Kirby of Sioux Falls is in the news, yet again. Pushing the concept of a jungle primary ballot measure. Yet again.

A campaign committee calling itself South Dakota Open Primaries filed paperwork with the South Dakota Legislative Research Council Wednesday that seeks to place a constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot.


If successfully placed on the 2024 ballot and adopted by voters, all the candidates would compete in a single primary open to all South Dakota voters. The two candidates that receive the most votes would advance to the general election. Party affiliation of candidates, or lack thereof, would be indicated on the ballot, according to the organization.

Read about Joe’s reheated leftovers here.

Oh, for crying out loud. Can these guys not take a hint?

They tried it in 2016. It was defeated 55% – 45%

They tried it in 2018. They gathered signatures, but could not get enough valid signatures to put it on the ballot.

They tried it in 2022. They could not get enough signatures to even bother turning it in.

I sense a trend.

As I’ve noted before.. several times now.. this is a solution in search of a problem that no one has been asking for. Going back to when the measure was first proposed in South Dakota, while the proponents have all these noble goals, in practice, the solution ends up being worse than the problem:

We’ve seen this same phenomenon before, but this is the first single-party statewide election ever to take place in Washington. That’s just terrible for democracy. California also uses a top-two primary, and there, polls show that many Republican voters simply plan to sit out this year’s Senate race between Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez. But at least we know that California, a very blue state, would likely have elected a Democrat to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer anyway. Washington, by contrast, almost certainly would have voted in another Democrat as treasurer, so the situation here is particularly perverse.

Supposed “good-government” reformers naïvely believed that eliminating partisan primaries would somehow crank down partisan gridlock by forcing office-seekers to moderate their views in order to win. Not only has that not happened, but voters have repeatedly been denied the opportunity to vote for the party of their choice thanks to debacles like these. It’s long past time for proponents to acknowledge their mistake and advocate for a return to proper primaries—and proper democracy.

Read that here.

And that’s coming from the Democrats.

Jungle primaries – providing diminished participation in elections, cutting candidate choice in the November election, and even more polarized candidates. That’s what Joe’s ballot measure would provide.

A menu choice that no one was looking for when it was fresh. And it has just gotten less appetizing as time goes by.

16 thoughts on “Thrice-warmed over leftovers are back – Joe Kirby and the Jungle Primary are going to try yet again.”

  1. Urgh….Stop already…we dont want this BS!!


    1. Political parties should be able to nominate however they want. Kirby and the legislature should leave it to the parties to decide.

  2. You know this is a bad idea when Nebraska resident dwarf king herr joseph heidelberger is supporting the effort here in South Dakota.

  3. I believe the costs of primary elections should be the responsibility of the political parties. Why should a tax payer be responsible for the costs of picking a party candidate since it is a “closed” election.

  4. What’s next, a push for ranked choice like in Alaska where it took two weeks to find out who won?

  5. Why wouldn’t the parties be able to nominate who they want to nominate?

    The dems decided to let Independents into the primary. Republicans didn’t.

    Republicans and dems nominate at convention some races. That’s fine. Good for them. Each party should do what they want.

  6. hard no from me. the system isn’t broke so don’t fix it. if you want to vote in the primary register with the party.

  7. Minnesota has a good primary system where it is open but still partisan unlike this jungle style. The statewide offices should also be on the primary ballot. That is what Joe should be pushing right now…

      1. Idk, seemed like plenty South Dakota residents were against a proposed business in Sioux Falls… Very Minnesota-like

        The Minnesota Primary system is very good, minus the fact that it takes place in August. Needs to be moved up to June. And the State Parties need to get rid of the pre-primary endorsement.

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