Michael Clark: My Run for The South Dakota House

Pat has given permission for me to document my experience for running the South Dakota House here.  This all started several months ago.  When Pastor Steve Hickey announced he was going to resign to go to Scotland to study Christian Ethics.  Somebody gave my name to the Governor’s office to replace him.

I made it to the final interview and then rejected.

I wasn’t about to let that stop me.  I contacted Dave Roetman the Minnehaha County GOP Chair, who got me started.  I got my petition downloaded from the Secretary of State web site.  Fill them out and after some fussing with the printer margins, got them printed out, signed and notarized and I was ready, except I needed copies. Who was open on New Year’s day that can make double sided copies?   After checking Kinko’s (Closed) the UPS Store (Closed) Lewis Drug (copier broken) and Walgreen’s (no copier) I found the Sunshine in Hartford had a copier and was open. As I was making copies, I saw Deb Peters Facebook post looking for people to sign her petition.   There was a no brainer, ‘I’ll sign yours, if you’ll sign mine.’

Over the past several months I have been gathering signatures to get on the primary ballot. I have been through Hartford, Crooks, Humboldt, and chunk of northwestern Sioux Falls. I did some door to door, Attended events where people gathered, even out to where people where ice fishing.

Most of the time people were happy to sign the petitions.  Some asked a few questions.  Only two people said they wouldn’t sign their name.  Not because they didn’t like me, rather they hated politics that much.  When some peopled learned that Paula Hawks is our current representative, they not only signed but asked if I needed any help.  Some people were surprised that someone would even stop by to ask them to sign a petition for anything. Especially that gentleman in the ice shanty on Clear Lake

I quickly learned the list of republican voters from the GOP Database was at least two years out of date.  I updated the database with corrections as I came across errors.  Some were deceased, some had moved and some had re registered as independent.   Of course I had voter registration cards handy to help anyone who needed to register to vote.

One thing about elections is they are rife with rumors.  There are a lot of petitions out for a lot different races, including city and county positions.  I have heard rumors of people signing petitions with fictitious names, petitions being soiled (I’m being nice here) by opponents and others.  Of course who is running for what can be great guessing game. So far I have heard Lora Hubbel, Linda Johnson, Karon Gubbrud and few others might be in the mix.  I believe there are more petitions being passed around.  I have found the best way to deal with rumors is ‘hear everything, believe about 2%’ What part to believe is the tricky part.

With all the rumors abound, I decided the best way to ensure I get on the ballot, is once the petitions are filled out and notarized, to personally take them to Pierre and hand them in to the Secretary of State office myself.  If there is a problem, the only one I can blame, is that guy in the mirror.

Sunday afternoon, the last of my petitions were notarized, then my wife and I headed to Pierre.  For some reason, all my trips to Pierre have been overnight trips.  My goal was to turn in the petition before 9:00 AM and be on the way back before 10:00.  When I turned in the petitions, I was told they had number of petitions come in Friday afternoon and they would put mine at the bottom of the stack.  Now all we do is wait.

Tuesday morning at 10:21 I checked the Secretary of State web site and seen my name pop up I’m now on the June Primary Ballot.  I would like to say Thank you to everyone who signed the petitions.

Now the campaigning can begin.

The one thing campaigns need is money.  I have set up a Go fund me page to get ball going.

There will be more coming as campaign gets going and the elections draw closer.

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