Bolin congratulates Shorma on appointment, but leaves the future unwritten. How have appointees fared?

This afternoon, Jim Bolin offers congratulations to Bill Shorma for the Governor’s appointment to the District 16 Senate seat. Which also happens to be the same legislative seat that outgoing State Senator Dan Lederman had recommended Bolin for:

jim bolinI want to congratulate Mr. Shorma on his appointment to the legislature.  I look forward to working with him on areas of mutual concern and interest.   In 2015, the governor very legitimately gets to decide who will be the new state senator for District # 16.   In 2016, the voters in District # 16 will very legitimately decide the same question.

“In 2015, the governor very legitimately gets to decide who will be the new state senator for District # 16. In 2016, the voters in District # 16 will very legitimately decide the same question.”  Hmmmm….. that kind of leaves the door open.

It wouldn’t be the first time a Gubernatorial appointee has been challenged within the party for Governor Daugaard. In the past, I’ve seen legislative appointees failing to successfully get through the general election at the rate of about 50% at one point in the Mickelson administration.  But generally Governor Daugaard has enjoyed electoral success.

For Daugaard, in Shorma & Bolin’s district, District 16, after David Anderson was appointed to take Patty Miller’s place, a hard right candidate Kevin Jensen, who was strongly supported by the South Dakota Gun Owners in a challenge for one of the seats ran for the office, but was soundly defeated by around 300 votes in the race.

In challenges outside of the Republican party which resulted in losses, Rep. Kent Juhnke who was appointed to fill a Senate seat for Cooper Garnos lost in 2012 to Larry Lucas in a newly redistricted seat. Chuck Jones of Flandreau who had been appointed to the State Senate by Daugaard lost to sitting Representative Scott Parsley in the general election.

But those are far fewer than the wins, as described above for the primary, and here in the general; Blake Curd, who was appointed to fill a District 12 seat has successfully run for re-election, as has Representative Kris Langer appointed by Governor Daugaard in 2013. Curd defeated his democratic opponent on a 60-40% basis, and Langer’s democratic opponents withdrew from the election.  Senator Alan Solano appointed in early 2014 joined Langer in running unopposed in the 2014 general election.

Although…. Possible spoiler alert: There was word going around the Capitol during the 2015 session that House Majority Leader Brian Gosch could possibly be contemplating a primary challenge to Senator Alan Solano for the District 32 State Senate seat in ’16. But with Solano having won election in his own right, it’s hard to call it an appointee challenge. (Not to say that it’s going to happen. But, as I’d said, the rumor was running around – PP.)

21 thoughts on “Bolin congratulates Shorma on appointment, but leaves the future unwritten. How have appointees fared?”

  1. I hope Bolin runs for Lederman’s vacated seat in the next election. He is a stand-up guy and more conservative than Gov. Daugaard, which is why he didn’t get the appointment he deserved.

    1. Bolin should not have been overlooked for Senate. He is a good man who wants the best for the state. He is not self-serving, and we need more people like him to stay in as lawmakers. It is disappointing that the Governor cannot distinguish who is worthy.

        1. I don’t think anyone is bitter. Bolin would win a primary if he chooses to run. He’s certainly not afraid of hard work. I am certain that Daugaard picked a fine man for the job. My only complaint is that Bolin is term limited so it would have made fair sense to appoint him to senate and put this new guy in the House.

          This appointment is all about ensuring the votes are there for the governor’s preferred leadership team. Daugaard knows Bolin will win a primary in that district.

  2. I’m a big Jim Bolin fan but I don’t see him as being more conservative than DD. Common Core is only one issue and I may disagree with the Governor on it I don’t think that makes him not conservative

    1. It’s not so much about conservative vs liberal. It’s about the governor having an agenda and wanting legislators who adhere to what that agenda is. Bolin marches to his own drum. Like it or not that is how Bolin acts. He’s not a guy who’s going to get a call from Tony Venhuizen or Jason Dilges and just fall in line. Bolin questions things and has an opinion.

      It’s really about not wanting someone who has to be courted all the time more than who’s conservative or liberal. There is a limited amount of energy that can be spent twisting arms for votes and by nature Bolin will take more work to persuade than most. The other side of that is that if Bolin is in agreement with you he will work his tail off to get your ideas into law.

      This appointment was all about getting ready for the leadership races next weekend. This is all about who controls the Senate caucus. If Shorma loses in a year to Bolin in a primary then so be it. The governor still got his people in for assistant majority leader and that sets that person up on a sweet pedestal to run for Majority leader when Brown leaves.

      I don’t believe they would be filling these positions now unless they felt like the vote for leader was too close for comfort.

  3. Mr. Bolin has been a bit of a bossturd through his time in the legislatures. I like that. A lot of people like that. I hope he goes all hats in. Mr. Bolin, you are a swell fellow but get over this gnashing on cores of the common teachings, please.

  4. Sounds a bit like a sore loser in his congratulations, if you ask me. I know he wanted the Senate position, but he was elected by his constituents for the position he currently has. I agree with the Governor’s decision to appoint someone to the Senate seat. Bravo, Gov.

  5. I think Bolin is making it very clear he intends to run for Senate. I presume Shorma was appointed with an intention of running but I could be wrong.

    Shorma will have a year to work the political circles in the District and a session to build a record for review by the primary voters and they will choose between the two.

  6. Looks like Lederman’s influence is once again overestimated by the former Senator himself. I’d bet Bolin wishes he’d kept his opionion on his replacement to himself. It takes a lot of gall to say “hey, I know I’m shirking my responsibilities and shortchanging the voters who elected me but I’d like to name my successor.” Good plan Dan.

  7. Anonymous 12:08,

    One of the things your post highlights is the negative consequences of term limits. Are we really served by the House-switching? Might it be better to just allow the District voters to choose who they want for as long as they want?

  8. Troy;
    What term limits have done is to give the general public a “feel good” of some control over the folks they like and vote for but in some strange way never totally trust. The GP likes realism in SD politics. Term limits does bring a new slate of candidates to the primary fodder who would in the past probably never have ran for office. I’m not thinking this is a bad thing as it opens windows of opportunity for very trusting and opportunistic pols to find a way into leadership unheard of before Term Limits were put into our statutes.
    I took a two year hiatus for this very reason.

  9. Sad to see the Governor sticking his neck into the leadership races. Apparently he hasn’t learned his lesson. Remember when he endorsed the likes of Rausch and Buckingham for Senate, how did that work out? If the sitting Senators had a brain and a spine, they would reject the “annointed” leadership candidates and vote for the opponents. Don’t forget the yes man Bill Scott who was appointed to the House a few years back, he was summarily trounced in the next election by a real thinking Republican Qualm. Chuck Jones was a nice guy but was a pathetic Senator because he didn’t vote his conscience or for his constituents. He was always swayed to vote along with the Gov since he was an “appointee” ! How did that work out? As far as I’m concerned, any republican who would promote liberals like Jim White and Deb Soholt for leadership ought to change parties so they can sit in the far corner with Buhl.

    1. White is not a liberal.

      If I was in the senate I would vote for Greenfield and my second choice would be Jim White.

      I would vote for Soholt before I would vote for Otten because he’s not much of a leader.

      White and Soholt have leadership credentials.

      Greenfield would be more ideologically aligned with me. I believe he is becoming more of a leader in recent years. The question is can anyone lead the legislators he hangs out with?

      Greenfield, White and Soholt all bring good qualities to the caucus. I would trust soholt would be respectful of the caucuses pro-life leaning if she won.

      1. White not a liberal ? He led the charge in the legislature to kill Bolin’s bill to rein in the SDHSAA. They want to let boys who think they want to be a girl onto the same team with the girls and into the same locker room. Unfortunately, White and the rest of the liberals in the Senate (yes , that includes Soholt and Brown) won, at least for now.

        1. Why is Ernie stepping on Greenfield’s toes instead of stepping aside?

        2. White ain’t no liberal and neither is Brown.

          Greenfield would make for a good voice in the caucus. So would White. This is a luxury the democrats don’t have.

          They need Frerichs back.

  10. Otten shouldn’t even be running. This should be Greenfield’s race and Otten is splitting votes.

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