Vehle fights back inner-party challenge from SibsonState Sen. Mike Vehle will go on to the general election after winning Tuesday’s Republican primary in District 20.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
State Sen. Mike Vehle will go on to the general election after winning Tuesday’s Republican primary in District 20.
Vehle defeated opponent Steve Sibson, who also ran unsuccessfully against Vehle in the 2010 general election as an independent. Vehle received 1,938 votes (65 percent) from throughout District 20, which encompasses Davison, Aurora and Jerauld counties. Sibson received 1,043 votes (35 per-cent).
“I’m very grateful and humbled by the amount of support I had,” Vehle said Tuesday evening. “I don’t take anything for granted. I say, you always have to run like you’re behind. I learned that from Jim Abdnor.”
Vehle, 62, is retired from a position as vice president and credit card manager at CorTrust Bank. He grew up in the Chamberlain area and worked as a staffer for U.S. Sen. Jim Abdnor in the 1970s. He has served two terms in the state Senate and two terms in the House.
Vehle said he enjoyed the campaign, going door-to-door, advertising and attending events. He said the events were great ice-breakers that enabled him to visit with a lot of people.
Now Vehle will begin his campaign for the Nov. 6 general election. He will face Democrat Quentin Burg, of Wessington Springs.
Sibson was surprised by the voter turnout — 31 percent of registered Republicans in Aurora County, 60 percent in Jerauld and 53 percent in Davison — and the total number of votes he received.
“I’m trying to absorb it right now,” Sibson said Tuesday evening. “I feel bad for the conservatives who were hoping to get rid of the liberal problems in Pierre. I wasn’t able to do that tonight.”
The 56-year-old grew up in Mitchell, has worked at Toshiba America Business Solutions in Mitchell for 21 years and wants to restore a conservative Republican platform.
“I got 20 percent the first time and 30 percent this time, so I’m gaining ground. Maybe third time’s a charm,” he said.
Sibson also feels bad for the rural people who are more conservative, he said. He’s hoping Democrat Quentin Burg is more conservative and gives the rural population a conservative to vote for.
“I hope the people who supported me will consider supporting him,” Sibson said of Burg.