Miskimins Announces State Senate Candidacy

Miskimins Announces State Senate Candidacy

MITCHELL–Former State Representative Paul Miskimins is excited to announce his candidacy for District 20 State Senate.

Paul and his wife, Ellen, have three adult children, 11 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. Giving back to South Dakota and working hard to build a brighter future for his family and all South Dakotans is at the core of Miskimins’ drive to bring his leadership experience back to the Legislature.

“I would be honored to once again serve the citizens of District 20 as their voice in Pierre,” said Miskimins. “I care deeply about South Dakota and I’m ready to roll up my shelves and work hard for my neighbors in the region. During my four years in the Legislature, we had challenging issues before us. I’m proud to say I helped look for solutions and I listened to my constituents to do what was best for District 20 and South Dakota.”

Miskimins served in the State House of Representatives for District 20 from 2019-2022. During his tenure, he sat on the Commerce and Energy, Education, and Health and Human Services committees.

Born in Wessington Springs and raised in Mitchell, Miskimins grew up on a ranch with his parents and three brothers. Paul attended the University of South Dakota and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry. For 38 years, he owned and operated a dentistry practice in Mitchell until his retirement in 2017. Paul’s love of farming continued throughout his life. Today, he still serves as the President of Miskimins Ranch, a cow/calf operation.

Miskimins believes in serving his community in a variety of ways. His family worships at First United Methodist Church where he served as the president of the church council and as a past Sunday School teacher. Paul serves on the YMCA Board of Directors, Abbott House Board of Directors and Foundation Board, Dakota Wesleyan Board of Directors, and the Life Quest Board. He is a strong advocate for youth sports along with a coach for baseball and football.

Due to term limits, Senator Joshua Klumb is unable to run for re-election to the Senate.

District 20 includes the counties Davison, Jerauld, Miner, and Sanborn. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024.


Thune Statement on Passing of Harriet Pressler

Thune Statement on Passing of Harriet Pressler

“We are praying for the Pressler family and know that Harriet’s legacy will continue to live on through those she leaves behind.”

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today released the following statement on the passing of Harriet Pressler, wife of former U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.):

“Kimberley and I join South Dakotans today in mourning the loss of Harriet Pressler,” said Thune. “Harriet was a faith-filled woman who radiated grace and kindness to everyone she met as she and her husband Larry proudly served the state of South Dakota for many years. Kimberley worked for Senator Pressler and came to know Harriet as a tireless fighter for our state, and she has so many friends in South Dakota that are saddened to hear this news. We are praying for the Pressler family and know that Harriet’s legacy will continue to live on through those she leaves behind.”


After Navigator pipeline withdraws, Summit Carbon ready to step up for ethanol plants.

After the people behind the Navigator pipeline announced the cancellation of their project today…

Navigator CO2 Ventures has canceled its Heartland Greenway pipeline project aimed at capturing 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from Midwest ethanol plants and storing it permanently underground, the company said on Friday, citing “unpredictable” state regulatory processes.

Read that here.

A company spokesperson for Summit Carbon announced that they are ready to step up for ethanol plants, and expand their project, connecting with additional plants:

“Summit Carbon Solutions welcomes and is well positioned to add additional plants and communities to our project footprint. We remain as committed to our project as the day we announced it. It’s not often you get the opportunity to positively impact an industry that touches every farmer and rural community across the Midwest. We have reached voluntary agreements along nearly 75% of our proposed route – we are pleased that the vast majority of landowners and farmers across the Midwest embrace the project. We look forward to building a generational asset that will create new markets for the ethanol industry and farmers.” 

With over 75% of landowners along the project route voluntarily signing on, it’s a good sign that they will be able to keep ethanol booming, and returning profits for agriculture.

Van Diepen Announces Run for State House

Van Diepen Announces Run for State House

Kevin Van Diepen announces today that he will be run for the open South Dakota House of Representatives seat for District 22.  Kevin is a lifelong South Dakota resident and a resident of District 22 since 1985.  He is married to his wife of 35 years, Amy, and has one adult child.

Kevin has served the Huron Police Department for the past 35 years and has been the Chief of Police of the past six years.  He will retire in April.  He has served as a patrol officer, drug task for officer, patrol sergeant, and patrol captain.  He is active in the Chief of Police Association and served the past two years on their legislative committee.

“Public safety is a big part of my life. I also believe in the freedoms that we can afford our citizens as a result of the professionalism and dedication of our public safety officers,” Kevin stated in making the announcement. “I truly believe that South Dakota is a great place to live and raise a family, and if given the opportunity to be elected to the South Dakota House of Representatives, I will work hard to make sure that our citizens can continue to enjoy our way of life.”

District 22 consists of Beadle, Spink and western Clark County.  The primary election is June, 2024.


Guest column: Making South Dakota Schools Safer by Sen. Brent “B.R.” Hoffman

Making South Dakota Schools Safer
by Sen. Brent “B.R.” Hoffman

School safety isn’t one of the more popular topics of discussion in the storied hallways of the state capital.  It’s an uncomfortable problem that lacks obvious, cookie-cutter solutions, and nobody wants to talk about school shootings.  But if we’re to make our schools safer, we must think about the unthinkable.

Since the year 2000, there have been nearly 500 documented school shootings in America.  These shootings have become ever more common, ranging from isolated incidents to horrific mass murders, such as the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut, where a lone gunman took the lives of 20 first-graders before ending his own.  These incidents occur in big cities and small towns, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, and in so-called red states and blue states.

Unfortunately, there has not been a strong, nationwide effort to prevent or respond to the next one.  A study by the American Legislative Exchange Council revealed “fewer than one-third of states have given any direction to local schools regarding solutions for securing their facilities that are based on experience, proven technology or best practices.”  While states that have experienced mass shootings have implemented stronger school safety laws, the majority of states remain unprepared for this very real threat.
Here in glorious, freedom-loving South Dakota, it’s tempting to think something like a school shooting can’t or won’t happen here.  That is wrong thinking.  While our state hasn’t experienced a mass shooting (there have been seven school shootings in our history), it’s impossible to predict the location, source, motivations or tactics of the next incident.  We can and should pray for our children’s safety, but we must also prepare for their safety.

As it stands, our school districts vary widely in resources, capabilities, facilities and training.  Many have proactively upgraded facilities and procedures, but only about 35% of schools have full control of access points, a panic button, an emergency operations plan and the means to implement it.  Less than 25% of our schools have a school resource officer or sentinel readily available to respond to a violent threat.  We can do better.  We must do better.

Since this past summer, a small team of educators, legislators and law enforcement have been working on a proposal to improve school safety.  Our draft bill incorporates best practices such as facility requirements and a security grant and stipend program.  We’re confident this proposal can dramatically improve our school safety posture, but it will not be easy or convenient.  There will be opposition.  It will cost money.

Within the next few weeks, we hope to fine-tune and release the draft language for this bill, titled “An Act to establish and modify provisions related to school safety.”  We humbly ask for your support or your suggestions to improve it.  For our schools.  For our kids.


The author served a career in the military, surviving the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.  He’s a published author, occasional newspaper columnist and currently serves as a state senator for District 9 in glorious South Dakota.

Gov. Noem Calls on Congress to Resolve Speaker Race, Support Israel

Gov. Noem Calls on Congress to Resolve Speaker Race, Support Israel

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, following her statement of support to the people of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Governor Kristi Noem called on Congress to swiftly resolve the Speaker of the House race so that they may take action to support Israel:

“Israel is America’s most important friend and strategic ally, but they have been devastated by a barbaric invasion of their God-given homeland. During my time in Congress and on the House Armed Services Committee, I saw how important it is that Congress support Israel. That is truer today than it has ever been, but actions speak louder than words. Congress must act.

“Before Congress can act, the United States House of Representatives must resolve the Speaker of the House controversy. The best resolution is to rally in support of my friend and former colleague Jim Jordan. He clearly has the firmest support of his House Republican colleagues. Congressman Jordan will support Israel in their time of need while ensuring that Congress remains good stewards of the American people’s taxpayer dollars.

“I also call on the House to speed up their plans for resolving this controversy. The people of Israel cannot wait until Wednesday for Congress to act in their support. Congress should act no later than Monday. Lives depend on it.”

While Governor Noem served in Congress, she was a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the Department of Defense and numerous other aspects of our nation’s national security. Governor Noem has visited Israel numerous times to display her support for America’s most important strategic ally.


Gov. Kristi Noem Supports Israel

Gov. Kristi Noem Supports Israel

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, in the wake of the devastating invasion of Israel by Hamas terrorists, Governor Kristi Noem issued a statement of support for the people of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“Beloved people of Israel: your friends and allies in America stand with you. We support you in defending the homeland given to your people by God. These barbaric actions have shocked the conscience of the world. We share your anger at the viciousness of these attacks and the death, pain, and suffering it has caused, and we support your right to use all measures necessary to prevent future attacks.

“During my time on the House Armed Services Committee, I saw what regular violence perpetrated by Hamas terrorists against Israel looks like. This goes so far beyond that – this was an act of war, an invasion of your sacred home.

“We are praying for a swift resolution to this war; for safety and peace for the hostages taken by the Hamas terrorists; for comfort to the families who have lost loved ones or whose lives have otherwise been forever changed by this horrific day; for the first responders to act calmly and quickly in their work of healing and repair; for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his armed forces to strike swiftly, truly, and with justice; and for Hamas to be driven from the face of the Earth as a just consequence for their atrocities.

“In the coming days, all Americans – and the whole world – must stand firm in our resolve to support the Israeli people. As Prime Minister Netanyahu said, ‘This war will take time. She will be hard. Challenging days are ahead. But… with the help of God… we will win.’ Godspeed to you, my friend Prime Minister Netanyahu, and to your people. You will win, and you have our support every step of the way.”

While Governor Noem served in Congress, she was a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the Department of Defense and numerous other aspects of our nation’s national security. Governor Noem has visited Israel numerous times to display her support for America’s most important strategic ally.


Sen. Julie Frye Mueller doubles down on employee harassment denials, claims Senate President Pro Tem wrote words, despite sworn testimony

There was a Republican Lincoln Day dinner in Fall River County last night, and if you think it was a run-of-the-mill affair, guess again. Because not only did it underline the divisions with some members of the far right and the Republican Party as a whole, it gave a preview of what we are going to see coming in the next election.

The featured speakers were Senator Tom Pischke, and Senator Julie Frye Mueller, who coincidentally have both been disinvited from attending the Republican Senate caucus because of their actions this last legislative session.

After Senator Pischke read his speech off, Frye Mueller got up and gave a fish story which I hadn’t heard to date:

“ you could see this was an orchestrated attempt.. and what Senator Schoenbeck.. and yes you’re watching.. and if you are good for you. His goal I believe was to have me hang my head and walk off the floor. And never come back. And that wasn’t going to happen. 

Because I believe he’s the one who made up those words, as that staffor didn’t say those words, and I didn’t say them either as in my kangaroo court I testified to.”

Watch that here at about 1:08 into the video.

Wait a moment.. was this the same Julie Frye Mueller who claimed in a lawsuit that in her speech with the employee was constitutionally protected?

In her lawsuit, Frye-Mueller argues that her conversation with the staffer was political speech protected by the First Amendment, and that her first-of-its-kind suspension came without due process.

Read that here..

Now, despite the legislative hearing with sworn testimony of the employee who related her version of conversation, and the written statement of the employee as part of her original complaint, now Frye Mueller has started to voice a ridiculous claim that Senator Schoenbeck actually authored it?

I have a feeling this is going to get sillier before the next legislative session is over.

Speaking of ridiculous and silly, there was a candidate announcement at the dinner as well.

Apparently, Mathew Monfore, who got disinvited from at least one reservation for claiming they worship false idols announced his candidacy for District 30 house.

Get ready for a long campaign.

Governor Noem Endorses Donald J. Trump for President

Governor Noem Endorses Donald J. Trump for President

RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA – Today, Governor Kristi Noem endorsed President Donald J. Trump for President of the United States. She delivered the endorsement during remarks at the South Dakota Republican Party’s Monumental Leaders Rally. President Trump then joined Governor Noem onstage.

These remarks are as prepared for delivery:  

Good evening.

Three years ago, during some of our country’s darkest days in recent history, South Dakota inspired the nation by daring to boldly celebrate our God-given Freedom. While leaders across the world used fear to manipulate, lie, and control people, we chose a different path. On July 3rd, we gathered at this nation’s greatest monument and invited the world’s strongest leader to join us. And President Donald J. Trump showed up.

President Trump showed up, like he always does for the American people. 

And he has shown up again here tonight!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions from people across the country about tonight’s events. They want to know why? Why did you invite President Trump to come help support the South Dakota Republican Party? Why would he waste his time in the middle of a presidential race to go to a small, insignificant state like South Dakota? Is President Trump going to pick you as his favorite Governor? 

So here are the facts:

Chairman John Wiik had this fantastic idea to bring Republicans in our state together to rally us around our shared values and principles. I loved the idea and told him I would do what I could to help. We started discussing inviting all the candidates running to be President of the United States. Tim Scott was asked… and he declined. Vivek Ramaswamy was invited, and he turned the chairman down. Other candidates were asked, and all told us they had better things to do. But when President Trump was invited to come be with you tonight, he said, “I’ll be there!”

You see, that’s why people love President Trump. He doesn’t listen to consultants, or the media, or the political elite to tell him who is important and what his priorities should be. To him, every American is worth fighting for. No one is better than anyone else. No one deserves to be treated differently than anyone else. And he will never forget about us, the little people in the little states that are the backbone of this country. He shows up for every American and fights for us every day.

Some people can’t figure out his popularity – why are people so loyal to him? I’m convinced it’s because we have never seen anything or anyone like him before – and we’ve certainly never seen anyone like him serve in public office before!  

He’s unapologetically himself – he’s real – he’s genuine – he is who he is, and he never pretends to be something he’s not. And those who hate America know he will fight every day to stop them from destroying this country.

When I first asked for your support to serve as your Governor, I talked about my vision for South Dakota. I believed our state could grow, become stronger, expand businesses and industry, pay down our debt, and build stronger families – all while preserving our values and way of life. 

We have done that. And we didn’t do it through more government control or more taxes. We did it by trusting our people and giving them more opportunities to succeed. When the rest of the country was locking down and ordering people to stay home – we did the exact opposite. We invited people to come to South Dakota and used it as an opportunity to tell our story. We were a “city on a hill” during a very dark time – and we represented hope. A light in the darkness. We showed the country how to do better – be better.  

Many are threatened by what South Dakota has done the last several years. Here is why – while big government socialists want more control over you and your family, your money, and your life – we chose personal responsibility. We cut taxes, cut regulations, let families make the best decisions for themselves – and we have thrived.

We have gone from flyover country to one of the fastest growing states in the nation. South Dakota’s real GDP just grew a whopping 10.1%. Our personal incomes just went up by another 9.2%. Those are both top-5 in the nation. Our population has been growing at 5 to 10 times the national average for the past several years. We are a beacon of Freedom to the nation. We have broken tourism records every year since the pandemic. We have grown our economy faster than any other state – and faster than at any time in South Dakota’s history. 

Let me give you all a quick refresher course on South Dakota’s story. In January 2020, I stood before the legislature for my “State of the State” address and declared South Dakota “Open for Business.” Just two months later, our first COVID cases came to South Dakota. I knew one thing: the only way that we were going to get through it was together. We made decisions based on the science, the facts, and the data. And the science did not support mandates or lockdowns. We asked South Dakotans to use common sense, and then we trusted them. We trusted them to use personal responsibility to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones. 

And as a community – as a state – we got back to work. Other states were taking a very different approach. They ordered their citizens to shelter in place. Ordered businesses to lock down. Ordered churches to close. Some even sent nursing home patients who had COVID back into their facilities. 

Those decisions weren’t leadership. They were made based on fear and control. South Dakota focused on facts, instead. I respected my oath to the United States and South Dakota Constitutions. I respected our people. I respected their Freedom.

If Joe Biden had been President, he would have tried to stop me from protecting you. Thank God President Trump was in the White House at the time – because he let me do my job. 

The results have been absolutely incredible. Earlier this year, South Dakota became the first state in American history to reach a 1.8% unemployment rate. No state had ever had an unemployment rate that low! Our people understand the value of work – and purpose – and serving each other. Incomes have been going up faster than anywhere else. Women owned businesses do better here than virtually any other state. Folks are moving here in record numbers. Our birth rates are the highest in the country. Our new housing developments have led the nation. We have had historic tourism numbers, set new records in hunting and fishing licenses sold, and cut taxes all while bringing in historic revenues because of our economic growth. And while other states struggled with out-of-control crime, violence, and hopelessness, South Dakota enforced our laws, respected our law enforcement officers, and saw declining mental health challenges, declining drug overdoses, and declining suicide rates. By embracing our faith and our Freedom – and by working together – our people are happier.

You see, I believe this is one of the main reasons why South Dakota is so attacked by those who want to see us fail. They will do anything, and destroy anyone to get more control and power. We refused to comply.

All we did here in South Dakota is what Republicans have always said they believed – we just did it – and it worked!

That frightens the liberals – because we have proof that our policies lift people up – help people – improve their opportunities for success. We don’t have to speculate, guess, or be philosophical about the benefits of our principles – we have proof that they work.

Three years ago, on July 3rd at Mount Rushmore, I stood there to honor our nation. I quoted one of the four great leaders carved in stone on that mountain. I quoted my favorite president, Teddy Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

That night, I used those words to introduce our special guest who was with us that evening. I introduced him as “someone who knows precisely what it means to brave the dangers of the arena… someone who strives valiantly; who knows great enthusiasms; who spends himself in a worthy cause; and who has firmly and repeatedly stated his commitment to place Americans, American liberty, American safety, and the American Constitution before anything else.” 

Let me be clear: there are many who chose not to be in the arena – many who take the easy path, who criticize, who don’t show up for our party, our country, and our Constitutional rights. They don’t show up for you when it matters. They didn’t even show up here tonight to welcome a former President of the United States to South Dakota who cared enough to come support our state Republican Party and our great Chairman John Wiik. 

Yes, maybe it’s controversial to be here tonight. Maybe it’s not convenient. But it is not the critic who counts. Thank you all for being respectful – for being here for the man who always shows up for us. May we all know the triumph of high achievement because of those like him who fight for freedom. It is a worthy cause. 

I was at the southern border just two weeks ago. Make no mistake, it is a warzone, and President Biden’s policies are inhumane. He is ignoring our federal laws, perpetuating drug and human trafficking, and undermining our national security. 

The only person in this Presidential race who will fix the situation is President Trump. He started building and funded the wall. He instituted the “Remain in Mexico” Policy. And it worked. He supports our allies, such as Israel and Taiwan, and understands that a strong America brings a safer world.

I trust President Trump to use our military only when it’s in America’s best interests. I have been Commander in Chief of South Dakota’s National Guard. I have had South Dakota Guardsmen and women deployed every single day that I have served as Governor. Before that, I served on the House Armed Services Committee. I know how important American strength is on the world stage. I have seen it firsthand. I have seen President Trump take decisive action time and time again. He exhibits peace through strength. He destroys our enemies swiftly and without hesitation. And he understands that American men and women in uniform should only be deployed as a last resort.

The only person in the race that I trust to do what needs to be done on these issues – is President Trump. I haven’t seen those other candidates fight when it mattered – when it was hard to do the right thing for our country. Some of them talk pretty tough. But where were they when the pandemic was raging, when leaders were taking away people’s constitutional rights? Because government told folks they couldn’t gather together, people lost their freedom of assembly. Because government told people they couldn’t go to church, people lost their freedom of religion. Because government censored what information could be shared and what couldn’t, people lost their freedom of speech.

Where were the other candidates then? They were silent. Cowering. Or worse yet, locking down their own people, pushing mandates, and closing beaches – even arresting people for taking spring break. 

Yes – I will be attacked for speaking the truth to you all tonight. Yes, I expect Joe Biden, these candidates, their political operatives, and the media will perpetuate ugly, hateful misinformation in an attempt to destroy me and my family because of my opinions. It’s nothing new. I’m getting used to it honestly. 

But all of us here tonight need to heed the warning in this well-known quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Do something. Get in the arena.

History cannot and should not be rewritten. 

We must remember what has happened in the past, learn from it, and not allow those who abused their power to ever perpetuate their harm again. 

To President Trump, my message is clear. It is an honor to have you here in South Dakota. These people here — they’re FREE. We are the strongest state in America because you let me do my job, and we seized that moment and told our story.

As you travel this great country, point to South Dakota as the example of what is possible. We just did here what Republicans have always said they believed. We just did it – and it worked!  We don’t have to talk in hypotheticals anymore. We kept businesses open. We kept government out of people’s lives. We cut taxes. Our government lives within its means. We have a surplus, not debt. We fund our pensions. We take care of our veterans. We conserve our natural beauty without government mandates. We fight for true and honest education, because we know how important it is to hand America off to our kids. We stand up for common sense, like fairness in girls’ sports. We do our part to secure the border. We honor America’s heroes. We stand for the flag and kneel for the Almighty. And sing the National Anthem.

This is real America. South Dakota is the example that you should share with the rest of the country. You made America great again once. Let’s do it again.

It is my honor to present to you the man in the arena. He is a man of significance. He is the leader, the fighter, that our country needs. He has my full and complete endorsement for President of the United State of America. I will do everything in my power to help him win to save this great country.  

Ladies and gentlemen, the 45th — and 47th — President of the United States, President Donald J. Trump!