- Member for
- 2 years 11 months
For more than three-fourths of sheriffs in South Dakota, running for office is a cakewalk. In 528 primary or general elections in the 21st century, 77.08 percent of sheriffs races went uncontested, leaving 407 incidences in which there was neither a primary or general election matchup in South Dakota. When there was no opposition, the lone person standing was the victor by default.
In the final District 20 cracker barrel of the year, Reps. Lance Carson and Tona Rozum offered their final goodbyes as state legislators. Carson kicked off the forum Friday at Mitchell City Hall by announcing he won't run for re-election. The Mitchell Republican has served 10 non-consecutive years in the S.D. House of Representatives and is often looked to for his appropriations insight. "I think I've done a nice job — I didn't say I did an excellent job — but I think I did a nice job," Carson joked.
Following through on his announcement last September, Clay Loneman intends to run to represent southwestern Mitchell on City Council. Loneman, who said he'll graduate from Dakota Wesleyan in May, ran for Mitchell City Council in 2017. Loneman lost against incumbent Councilman Steve Rice last year, but the other seat in Ward 1 is set to open this year. And the timing was perfect, Loneman said.
One gun control proposal that's gained some momentum recently likely doesn't have the votes to get through Congress, U.S. Sen. John Thune said. Following another mass school shooting in February, President Donald Trump and others have mentioned the idea of raising the minimum age to purchase assault-style firearms to 21. But Thune doesn't think such a proposal would have enough support to move forward.
Mitchell City Councilman Kevin McCardle liked his first year on the board, and he's aiming to serve at least three more years. McCardle embraced his opportunity to serve on the council since last July, and said he's heard strong community support since kicking off his new career in public service. "I've had a ton of support, I've had everybody tell me I better run again," McCardle told The Daily Republic on Wednesday.
Councilman Jeff Smith is hoping to serve the city of Mitchell for at least another three years. After a more than a decade on the Mitchell City Council, Smith told The Daily Republic that he intends to run for re-election to the council. Smith represents Ward 4 in northwestern Mitchell, and most recently ran unopposed in 2015. Since joining the council in 2006, the city has made vast improvements to the World's Only Corn Palace, made progress on an indoor aquatic facility and much more. And Smith isn't ready to end his run yet.
Another candidate has thrown his hat into the ring to represent District 20 in Pierre. Paul Miskimins, who practiced dentistry in Mitchell for nearly 38 years, is the second candidate to enter the fray for the two available House of Representatives seats in District 20 this fall. Miskimins, 65, was born in Wessington Springs and now lives in Mitchell, both at opposite corners of District 20. If elected, he would serve Aurora, Davison and Jerauld counties.
With a dozen years of experience under his belt, Mitchell City Councilman Marty Barington is hoping to serve at least three more. Barington told The Daily Republic on Wednesday of his intentions to run for re-election. And after conferring with family and hearing support from constituents in the northeastern ward, the longtime councilman hopes to make good use of his vast experience on the council. "I've been hearing some good support from some of the people in my ward, and of course the support at home was obviously a positive, too," Barington said.
The final of three incumbent Davison County Commissioners has officially thrown her hat in the ring for re-election. Commissioner Kim Weitala joined Commission Chair Brenda Bode and Commissioner John Claggett in seeking re-election to the five-person board. She told The Daily Republic of her intentions to seek office for another term. "I'm in 100 percent, and I'm running," Weitala said. Weitala serves as vice chair on the board, representing the southwestern corner of Mitchell. She was appointed to serve on the commission in 2012, and was elected in 2014.
A report released Wednesday offers a grim outlook on South Dakota's lung cancer prevention efforts. According to the 2018 State of Lung Cancer report from the American Lung Association, South Dakota ranked last among U.S. states with 1.2 accredited lung cancer screening sites per million people.