US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Summer in South Dakota

Summer in South Dakota
By Sen. John Thune

While I’ll likely regret saying this in January when I’m knee deep in the white stuff, every season in South Dakota has its advantages and is worth experiencing, but few, if any, outmatch summer in the 605. The temperature is hard to beat (sometimes quite literally) and there are a ton of things to do outdoors, which means more chances to spend time with friends and family. And while the summer weather will eventually give way to cooler temps and a new season, I’m taking advantage of every opportunity I can while I’m home this time of year.

Summer is typically pretty quiet in Washington, D.C. Most years, Congress dedicates a few weeks in August to give members more time to travel across their states and spend valuable time hearing from their constituents, something I do every year, not just in August.

This year, though, the Senate will spend a good portion of the month back in Washington, continuing to pass critical legislation and processing important judicial nominations, which have been unnecessarily delayed by some of my Senate colleagues. Despite the obstruction, I’m committed to staying as long as it takes to complete this important work.

Given this year’s shorter summer state work period, I’m squeezing in as much road time in South Dakota as I can this month, and I’m glad to have already seen so many familiar faces along the way.

My most recent trip through Madison happened to coincide with Miracle Treat Day, which means one thing: a pit stop at Dairy Queen. Before I got my Blizzard, I ran into DeLon, the owner, and congratulated him on the good work he does year after year for the community and region. It’s truly remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish for such a good cause.

While I was home, I also made it to Lake County Achievement Days, the Sioux Falls Kiwanis Club’s annual pancake feed, and toured several successful local businesses, including Horton in Britton, Specialized Machine in Tea, Enertech Global in Mitchell, and employee-owned Inland Truck Parts in Sioux Falls.

Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for the audience, I imagine, I joined Mogen’s Heroes on stage at the Sioux Empire Fair for our annual rendition of “You Are My Sunshine.” Speaking of fair season, summer wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Turner County Fair, which happens to be South Dakota’s longest running fair. It’s always a good time.

There’s no question that South Dakotans are my best advisors, so I’m always eager to hear what’s on people’s minds. I met with folks from Mobridge, Selby, and Java and spent time with community leaders in Faith and Britton. I appreciate everyone who joined me for coffee in Philip, Langford, and Pierpont and all of the young leaders who invited me to address the Sioux Falls Young Professionals Network.

Thankfully, summer isn’t over, nor are my stops around the state. I look forward to catching up with you and your family soon, so if we cross paths, please be sure to say hello. In the meantime, if you have questions about how I can help you navigate the federal bureaucracy, or if you have an idea or feedback about something I’m working on, please don’t hesitate to write, call, or email – I’m all ears.

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