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Legislative petitions filed, some primaries on tap

PIERRE — You might assume seven days would be time enough for registered mail to reach the state Capitol from any post office in South Dakota.

If so, all Republican and Democratic candidates for Legislature finally might have their election petitions filed.

The latest and perhaps last two sets of petitions arrived in Monday's mail.

They came from Democrat Tom Van Norman, of Eagle Butte, and Republican Rep. Lance Russell, of Hot Springs.

Secretary of State Jason Gant certified those candidacies Tuesday morning.

They came a full week after the filing deadline of 5 p.m. March 25 and five days after the March 27 deadline for primary candidates to withdraw.

State law calls for the secretary to accept petitions that arrive after the filing deadline if they were sent by registered mail and were postmarked by the 5 p.m. closing time.

The Van Norman and Russell primaries brought the statewide total of legislative primary elections to 23 as of mid-Tuesday.

Seventeen are Republican primaries: Five for Senate and 12 for House.

Democrats have two Senate and three House primaries.

Four sets of petitions from Rapid City candidates postmarked March 24 arrived Friday, according to Gant. They generated three of the primaries.

The primary elections are June 3. Early voting by absentee voting begins April 18.

All 105 seats in the Legislature -- 35 Senate and 70 House — are up for election this year. The general elections are Nov. 4.