EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series of stories detailing area legislative candidates’ responses to a Daily Republic questionnaire.
Candidates for the state Legislature in the vast District 21 weighed in on issues including roads, education and Gov. Mike Rounds’ proposed budget cuts for state departments in their responses to a Daily Republic questionnaire.
FORT THOMPSON — A state senator in central South Dakota took a novel approach to campaigning for re-election this week — from the seat of his bicycle.
Cooper Garnos, R-Presho, began his journey through the expansive District 21 on Monday, riding from Murdo to Presho. The ride continued with trips from Presho to Chamberlain on Tuesday, Chamberlain to Gann Valley on Wednesday, Gann Valley to Platte on Thursday, and Platte to Wagner on Friday. District 21 is made up of Jones, Lyman, Buffalo, Brule and Charles Mix counties.
The District 21 Senate incumbent will face a new challenger this fall. Democrat Brandon Sazue, former Crow Creek tribal chairman from Fort Thompson, has been chosen to run against Sen. Cooper Garnos, R-Presho, in Garnos’ re-election bid this fall.
Erin McCarrick, state Democratic Party executive director, said the county central party committee in the district selected Sazue Monday to replace Steve Smith, of Chamberlain.
As other states begin passing cell-phone laws, South Dakota lawmakers say they won’t be surprised if legislation to ban or limit the use of cellular phones while driving arises again in the next state legislative session.
“I do feel that there will be somebody that will bring it up again,” said state Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell. “I think that’s a distinct possibility.”
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