GOP primary arises in area legislative districtRep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton; Sen. Jim Putnam, R-Armour; Roger Hofer, of Bridgewater; and Kyle Schoenfish, of Scotland, will face off in the District 19 primary.
Four area Republicans will vie for two nominations for the state House in the June 5 primary.
Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton; Sen. Jim Putnam, R-Armour; Roger Hofer, of Bridgewater; and Kyle Schoenfish, of Scotland, will face off in the District 19 primary.
District 19 will include Hanson, McCook, Douglas and Hutchinson counties, and part of Bon Homme County, due to redistricting after the 2010 census.
Nelson, who serves as a representative in the current District 25, said his constituents asked him to run again.
“When we were redistricted, I lost two-thirds of my voter population that elected me in 2010, but I still have Hanson and McCook,” he said. “I’m one of those willing public servants who will run and will serve in the part-time Legislature as long as they want me to serve.”
Nelson drew a reprimand from the House leadership and was in the headlines when he alleged misconduct by other legislators and state officials during the recent legislative session. Should he be elected again, Nelson said he doesn’t plan to back down.
“I don’t turn a blind eye to shenanigans just because there’s an ‘R’ behind their name,” he said.
The former Marine and Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigator said he has a lot of ground to cover during his campaign, but doesn’t find it daunting. He plans to knock on doors again, like he did in 2010.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to the voters what they want,” he said.
Putnam, a veteran legislator for District 19, has served the district since 1987 and runs a promotional advertising business out of Armour.
“I like serving in the House, I like the Legislature,” he said. “I think people can offer their services if they have time to do it and carry on the best job they can.”
As for his odds of winning a slot on the November ballot: “I have no idea. If I was a predictor, I’d be doing the weather,” he laughed.
But Putnam is hopeful his constituents will elect him based on his record.
“I have many new people to meet and I hope they look at my record as well,” he said.
Putnam plans to do as much campaigning on the road as possible to meet the residents of District 19. His platform will include touting the budget and common sense spending since he’s been on the appropriations committee for several years, he said. He plans to tout his knowledge of various state budget items.
Schoenfish, a 24-year-old accountant, has started a social media campaign. He created a Facebook page which includes why he’s running for the House and his plans should he be elected.
“I think I can do a few good things,” he said. “Being an accountant, I have experience with auditing and taxes and I’ve worked a lot with local government.”
Schoenfish said he’s been interested in politics since high school when he served as a page for state Rep. Gary Jerke. He minored in political science in college and he currently serves as treasurer for Capitol Township in Hutchinson County.
His major campaign foundation is improving funding for education and Medicaid.
“I believe in controlling spending when it can be,” he said. “Increasing property taxes unfairly hurts farmers and those on fixed incomes.”
If he’s elected, Schoenfish said he’ll “always try to do what is right.”
Hofer is a farmer from Bridgewater. The Daily Republic tried unsuccessfully to contact him for this story.
Two candidates from each party are allowed to be on the general election ballot for the House and one from each party for the Senate, Gant said.
If more than two candidates for the House and more than one for the Senate from each party file prior to a primary election date, then a primary election is held.
Others who have filed for state offices around The Daily Republic’s coverage area include:
-District 20 — includes Davison, Aurora and Jerauld counties. Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, and Steve “Sibby” Sibson, a Republican from Mitchell, have filed for the Senate seat. Rep. Lance Carson, R-Mitchell, and Rep. Tona Rozum, R-Mitchell, have filed for the House seats.
There will be a primary election between Vehle and Sibson.
-District 8 — includes Sanborn and Miner counties. Rep. Patricia Stricherz, R-Madison, Leslie J. Heinemann, a Republican of Flandreau, Roy J. Lindsay, a Democrat of Madison, and Scott Parsley, a Democrat of Madison, have filed for the House. Sen. Russell Olson, R-Wentworth, has filed for re-election.
-District 19 — includes Hanson, McCook, Douglas and Hutchinson counties, and part of Bon Homme County. Alan Fenner, a Democrat of Menno, has filed for the House, in addition to the candidates mentioned above. Bill Van Gerpen, a Republican of Tyndall, and Rep. Frank J. Kloucek, D-Scotland, are running for the Senate seat.
-District 21 — includes Tripp, Gregory and Charles Mix counties, and a portion of Bon Homme County. Sen. Billie Sutton, D-Burke, and John S. Meyer, a Republican of Winner, have filed for the Senate seat. Rep. David Scott, R-Geddes, Julie Bartling, a Democrat of Burke, Lee Qualm, a Republican of Platte, and Gary W. Coleman, a Democrat of Dante, have filed for the House. Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed Scott to the House.
-District 26 — includes Jones, Lyman, Buffalo, Brule, Mellette and Todd counties. Sen. Ken Juhnke, R-Vivian, and Larry J. Lucas, a Democrat of Mission, have filed for the Senate seat. One senator will serve Districts 26A (Mellette and Todd counties) and 26B. Daugaard appointed Juhnke.
-District 26B — includes Jones, Lyman, Buffalo and Brule counties. Rep. James Schaefer, R-Kennebec, and Maynard J. Konechne, a Democrat of Kimball, have filed for the House seat.