Westra withdrawing from State Rep. Race.

Steve Westra, who by all accounts was going to be the next House majority leader, has decided to take a pass this election:

Rep. Steve Westra, R-Sioux Falls, withdrew his candidacy this week and told party leaders he didn’t plan to return to Pierre. His decision leaves an opening for another Republican to become House Majority Leader following Rep. Brian Gosch’s exit from the Legislature.


(Minnehaha County GOP Chair Dave) Roetman said he was saddened to see Westra leave the Legislature, but confident the party would find a candidate to fill his spot.

“I like Steve Westra personally and in leadership, he did a great job of representing the Republican party,” Roetman said Friday morning.

Read it all here.

Whomever is appointed to take Westra’s ballot position should have little trouble winning in this very Republican District.   However, it is sad to see Steve leaving. We wish him well in his future endeavors.

As noted, this also opens up the Majority Leadership position. I was discussing this with a friend & legislator this morning who personally saw this as an opportunity for Larry Rhoden, who had formerly been Majority Leader to step back in and fill the void. (They also noted they believe State Rep Kent Peterson may be a candidate for Assistant.)

Just like when the Senate had a big turnover before the last election, this will mean the incoming speaker, Mark Mickelson, will be playing an even more significant role as the voice of experience.

Never a dull moment.

19 Replies to “Westra withdrawing from State Rep. Race.”

  1. Anon

    Whoa. That’s a bummer. Interested to hear his reasoning. Promotion at Hegg? Didn’t want his family being harassed like they were last year?

      1. Anon

        Harassed may be too strong of a word, but he mentioned in an interview people calling his house upset after he argued against the sales tax increase for teachers.

    1. Anonymous

      I agree with the other commentator and wish it was Isaac “the ISIS Slayer” Latterell who was resigning.

      He is so disrespectful and a jerk.

  2. Anonymous

    Stunning. He would have been majority leader. His election to assistant pushed Schoenbeck out.

  3. Anonymous

    There is a serious problem with the legislature that the leaders keep leaving early.

    Russ Olson, Tim Rave, Dan Lederman, Steve Westra… Who’s next?

    1. Speaking from Experience

      I don’t agree. Serving in the legislature requires a personal sacrifice. If you’re retired, the sacrifice probably isn’t as great, but if you’re in the middle of your career – especially if you’re successful or have strong leadership qualities- or if you have a young family, each legislator has to make up his or her mind about what’s most important. There is no inherent problem with serving in the legislature, it’s just really good people have many options and rapidly changing opportunities. Life happens. We should be grateful that good people continue to step up to the plate.

      1. Anonymous

        I disagree with that. In the old days we had some long time legislators who served for decades. They were amazing people. Now we have term limits and leaders stepping away because the executive branch is too powerful and the legislature is weak.

        Why can’t guys like latterell resign?

        1. Anonymous

          I agree and have always been against term limits. Now we just have musical chairs with term limits coming up and those legislators just running for a different house. We had some great long term legislators in the past before term limits. The voters ultimately decide anyways.

          I highly doubt latterell would ever resign unless there was some scandal. He craves the attention and it’s all about him but provides no substance in the legislature. Always making South Dakota look bad like we are a bunch of crazy nuts!

      1. Anonymous

        Mickelson will pick Rhoden and Rhoden will back Mickelson as Jackley chose Rounds over Rhoden.

  4. Mr. Neiloh

    I think everyone here is missing the “behind the scenes” of this retirement. I think that this has the making of a Daugaard/Peters/Soholt/ wing of the party. Meaning the RINO’s. Daugaard wants Mickelson to be the nominee for Governor. That way Mickelson can continue Daugaard legacy of increasing taxes and more government in out everyday lives (accepting federal Obamacare money). Mickelson has shown his RINO ways. Jackley is a wildcard. He did a really good job of keeping quiet during these two big issues. Daugaard and his RINO friends are not sure were he stands on these issues. If we “take out” another conservative, like Westra, it paves the way for Mickelson and other RINO’s to control legislation to make Mickelson look good for Govenor.

    1. Facts

      Have you asked Mr Mickelson how he would vote on Medicaid Mr Neiloh? If so you would know that he is not in favor. Maybe try posting facts instead of lies. I am sure that is hard when you live in a fantasy world.

  5. Troy Jones

    I’m always amazed by the labels thrown on people.

    A few months ago, Westra was “Mr. Establishment” serving the interests of the “moderates” and now “he was taken out” by the establishment to the detriment of “conservatives.”

    Westra made a decision it was best for him and his family for him to not run. Does there really have to be a conspiracy behind everything?

    1. Mr. Neiloh

      Mr. Jones, I did not say there was a conspiracy behind Mr. Westra retiring. My point was good people, like Mr. Westra, Mr. Holien, Mr. Goesch, (even though term limited he had enough) and Mr. Novstrup , are being “forced out” of the legislature. My post was simply pointing out that the Governor is putting the people that support him and his policies in positions of power. He has every right to do this,he is the governor. I am pointing out that, in my humble opinion, these people, the governor, Ms. Solholt and Mr. Mickelson are moderate Republicans. So watch your wallet.