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Election 2022: Republican primaries, sheriff elections dot region slate

A look at the notable races taking place on June 7, 2022

Election 2022 in United States
Midterm Election 2022 in United States.
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A handful of elections will take place Tuesday, June 7 for South Dakota Legislative primaries, including some where the primaries will serve as de facto general elections due to the lack of overall candidates running for office.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Republican primaries are only open to registered Republicans, while Democratic Party primaries are open to voters who are registered Democrats or with no party affliation.

All registered voters, regardless of party, will be able to vote on non-partisan ballot questions, including Amendment C.

District 8

A Republican primary for the District 8 Senate seat will take place between incumbent Casey Crabtree, of Madison, and Heather DeVries, of Madison. Crabtree, who was appointed to the South Dakota Senate in June 2020, was unopposed in both the primary and general elections in 2020. District 8, which includes most of Miner County, plus Kingsbury, Lake and Brookings counties (excluding the city of Brookings).

Three individuals are running for the state House involving Lecia Summerer, of Wentworth, John Mills, of Volga, and Tim Reisch, of Howard. Current Rep. Marli Wiese, R-Madison, withdrew from the election in March. Mills is running to keep his House seat for a fourth term, although redistricting has dramatically changed his area of constituents. Until now, previously, he served an area that included rural areas around Watertown and Brookings but now is in District 8. Reisch, the former Miner County Sheriff who became South Dakota Secretary of Corrections and later adjunct general of the South Dakota National Guard until retirement in 2019, has recently worked as a part-time veterans service officer for Miner County. Summerer is a former English teacher at Sioux Falls Christian.

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District 19

In District 19, five Republicans are in a primary for two House seats. The candidates include incumbent Caleb Finck, of Tripp, along with Jessica Bahmuller, of Alexandria, Michael Boyle, of Parkston, Roger Hofer, of Bridgewater, and Drew Peterson, of Salem. With no challengers from other parties, the top two finishers are set to claim the House seats. The district includes Bon Homme, Hanson, Hutchinson and McCook counties and the southwestern corner of Turner County.

Finck is seeking a third consecutive term in the House but has served the last two terms on behalf of District 21. After redistricting, Finck has been moved back to District 19, where he unsuccessfully ran for a state Senate seat in 2016.

Drew Peterson is the younger brother of Rep. Kent Peterson, of Salem, who served as majority leader in the most recent legislative session, and was term-limited after eight years. Rep. Marty Overweg, R-New Holland, also did not run for re-election. Drew Peterson is a farmer and serves on the South Dakota Soybean Association Board of Directors.

Bahmuller, who works as city finance officer in Alexandria, narrowly missed advancing in the 2020 Republican House primary, coming up 21 votes shy of topping Overweg. Both Hofer and Boyle were candidates in 2018. Hofer, a farmer, ran as an independent candidate in the 2018 general election, earning 9.5% of the vote in a five-person field, while Boyle, a minister in Parkston, missed moving on in the 2018 Republican primary by less than 130 votes.

In the Senate race, there is no primary. Republican Sen. Kyle Schoenfish, of Scotland, will face Democrat Dan Brandt, of Avon, in November for the seat.

Douglas County Sheriff

Three are in the race for Douglas County sheriff, all Republicans. Dustin Palmquist, of Harrison, Shane Niewenhuis, of Corsica, and Chris Reitsma-Lau, who has a Kimball address, are the candidates. The winner will take over the position in January.

Palmquist is a current sergeant for the department, working as an officer for Douglas County for nine years, while Reitsma-Lau is currently police chief in Kimball and said she would relocate to Douglas County if she wins the job. Niewenhuis is a farmer and rancher and would be new to law enforcement.

Hutchinson County Sheriff

Two Republican candidates are in a primary for Hutchinson County’s sheriff job. They include Maurice Waltner, of Freeman, and Barron Nankivel, of Freeman. The winner is set to claim the job. Current Sheriff Jim Zeeb is retiring. Waltner, who has 16 years of experience and is a former Freeman police officer, has served as a deputy for the sheriff’s office for six years, while Nankivel is the county’s emergency manager.

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McCook County Sheriff

Two Republican candidates in McCook County are running for the role of sheriff. Incumbent Mark Norris, of Salem, is being challenged by Casey Urrutia, who is also from Salem. Urrutia is a former chief deputy for the department, while Norris has been sheriff for 16 years in McCook County.

Related Topics: ELECTION 2022
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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