State Senator Dan Lederman surprised his colleagues today, and decided that it’s his time to spend more time on the homefront, and – while not withdrawing from public life – he’s taking a knee, and for now, withdrawing from the legislature:
I’m announcing my retirement from the South Dakota State Senate, effective immediately.
I’m proud to have served in the State Legislature for 7 years, accomplishing much for the people who sent me to represent them in both the House and the Senate. I cherish the friendships I made, the opportunities for learning, and the good we were able to do.
But, I also have to balance that against the many nights and months my family was left at home, and my wife was forced to do double duty as a parent. It’s balanced against every dance recital I missed for my young daughters. Every parent/teacher conference. Every opportunity to go fishing with my son. The campaigns could be fun, family affairs, but when it results in me, their father and husband, living apart in a hotel for weeks on end, that isn’t a reward.
One of the major pieces of legislation I championed during my time in the legislature was the “Shared Parenting Act,” which allowed for more balance in determining parental custody rights in cases of divorce. If I can stand in the legislature and ask for more time and balance in families broken by divorce, it’s incumbent upon me to be part of a complete and balanced family all the time, not just during certain months the legislature isn’t in session.
At the end of our lives, if we’re truly blessed, we will be surrounded by family and loved ones as we slip from the bonds of this existence.
As nice as they can be, if we’re only surrounded by lobbyists bearing donuts and fruit baskets, then there might be a problem!
In his farewell message, Lederman also recommended that the Governor appoint State Rep Jim Bolin as his replacement when the Governor decides to appoint.
Congratulations and thanks to Dan for his many years of service to South Dakota.