South Dakota State University just recognized three of my fellow Jackrabbit alums on their election to the South Dakota State Legislature in a pair of articles, talking about their individual races, and what went into their run for office.
First, incoming State Senator Erin Tobin:
Tobin consulted with a friend who was a retired lobbyist. His conclusion: It would be a tough fight to take on the seated House majority leader, but given Qualm’s advocacy of the unpopular vaccination bill and the rise of COVID-19, “he thought I had a pretty good chance.”
Their advice was spot on. She received 61% of the vote, upsetting Qualm 2,155-1,366.
“The people felt their voice wasn’t being heard. I’ve lived here my whole life. I’ve had a lot of these voters as patients. They knew I could be trusted,” said Tobin, explaining her win. “Also during the primary I made a ton of phone calls. I felt like the cold calls were the hardest. You get a lot of hangups and that’s hard. After a while, I got used to it.”
Another article profiles Sydney Davis and Taylor Rehfeldt and their races for South Dakota State House of Representatives:
Skills learned in nursing school, such as critical thinking and being a thorough researcher, should carry over as a legislator, Davis said.
“Health care is a pretty complicated system. Having the frontline perspective as a provider, knowing what factors drive patients to seek care, knowing where they seek care and how they make those decisions, puts me in a unique position to fill the (knowledge) gap (in the legislature). Working in a small, critical access facility gives me perspectives that they haven’t had in Pierre.
“Better decisions get made when we have more diversity at the table,” she said.
Rehfeldt said with people dealing with COVID-19 and challenges with mental health and health care access, “What better person to understand those needs than a nurse? In training as a nurse, empathy and a willingness to serve people, is inherit. Those are qualities I want to bring to the legislature …
“People just want you to be honest with them. They don’t want a perfect answer. They just want someone to tell you the truth.”
Good Stuff. Go check it out!