Noem, Varilek say they’re eager to debateMatt Varilek chatted with Kristi Noem when they met at Fourth of July parades in Watertown and Kranzburg this summer.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Matt Varilek chatted with Kristi Noem when they met at Fourth of July parades in Watertown and Kranzburg this summer.
“We’re finding a lot of opportunities to sweat outdoors,” Varilek joked about his campaign across the state at parades, fairs, powwows and other events. The Democrat hopes to unseat Noem, R-S.D., a first-term House member.
He looks forward to speaking with Noem on a statewide scale several times this summer and fall. Varilek said he wants to make his case before as many people as possible.
“We would like to have numerous debates,” he said. “We have a lot of differences between us and debates are a good way to give people the information they need to choose.”
The first debate may be in Mitchell at Dakotafest, set for Aug. 21-23 at the Schlaffman Farm, just southeast of Mitchell. It’s an annual gathering for farmers, ranchers and others in the agriculture business and the debates there focus on ag issues. Representatives of Dakotafest did not respond to inquiries Monday from The Daily Republic, and the event’s schedule is not yet posted online.
The candidates are also expected to debate at the South Dakota State Fair. The South Dakota Farmers Union will produce the forum, set for 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at the State Fair Freedom Stage on the fairgrounds in Huron.
Varilek said he expects debates on South Dakota Public Television and other TV stations. He would welcome all other opportunities to appear on the same stage as Noem.
Tom Erickson, Noem’s campaign manager, said the congresswoman will meet her challenger as often as possible.
“Of course we’ll debate,” Erickson said. “We are in discussions with several groups and are working to finalize the details.”