Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > District 23 Candidate Forums being held over the next two weeks

District 23 Candidate Forums being held over the next two weeks

April 14, 2014
South Dakota Legislative District 23

South Dakota Legislative District 23

The District 23 House will be one of the more interesting legislative races in South Dakota this year. Any candidate hoping to win a legislative race in this district will have some traveling to do. And since every entry in the race is in the Republican primary, trying to figure out how to reach such a large area before June 3 is going to be a logistical and campaign finance nightmare. Luckily there be a series of Candidate Forums in District 23 to make it easier for constituents and candidates to interface.

The candidate forums are being organized by Concerned Citizens of District 23. Contact info for the group can be seen in the flier at the end of this post. Here are the events scheduled by this group over the next couple of weeks:

  • April 14 – Bowdle – 7pm (Edmunds county)
    Multipurpose/Community Room
  • April 15 – Eureka – 7pm (McPherson County)
    Prime TIme Bar & Restaurant- Main Street
  • April 21 – Ipswich – 7pm (Edmunds County)
    Edmunds County Courthouse Community Room (2nd Floor)
  • April 24 – Gettysburg – 7pm (Potter County)
    Gettysburg Fire Hall – 417 W Garfield Ave
  • April 28 – Miller – 7pm (Hand County)
    Location TBD
  • April 29 – Faulkton – 7pm (Faulk County)
    Community Center (West End of School – South Side of Highway)

I plan to attend at least one of the events, most likely the on in Ipswich since it is just a short drive down Highway 12 from Aberdeen. The physical distance between some of these events shows how great of an area district 23 covers. The map of district 23 (included in this post) shows it includes all of the following 6 counties: Campbell, McPherson, Walworth, Edmunds, Potter, Faulk,and Hand. Plus there is a just a little bit of Spink county that is included in District 23. That is one heck of an area for candidates to try canvassing. The redistricting performed a couple of years ago really left these candidates with a large and odd-shaped district to contend with.

Speaking of candidates. Here are the candidates seeking a legislative seat in District 23 this year.

District 23 House Race.

Incumbent Republican Representative Charlie Hoffman decided not to see reelection in 2014. The other incumbent Republican Representative Justin Cronin is seeking re-election. With Hoffman vacating his seat there are four others seeking to win the Republican primary. Nobody entered the race as a Democrat. The two candidates that win the Republican primary will by default win the general election due to a lack of registered Democrats entering the race. Here are the five that will be in the District 23 House race going after the two seats:

  • Justin Cronin – As the only incumbent in the race it is expected he will easily retain his seat.
  • Larry Nielson – I’ve met with Larry a couple of times and believe he would be a good candidate for those of us that believe in limited government. His biggest handicap in this race is living in Tulare, which puts him in that little piece of District 23 that is in Spink County.
  • Dale Hargens – Earlier in this post I was careful to say there weren’t any “registered Democrats” in this race. I say that because Dale Hargens is a former Democrat legislator. In 2003-2004 Hargens was the Democrat Minority Whip and in 2005-2008 he was the Democrat Minority Leader. I’ll wait until I get a chance to speak with him before commenting on his change of party.
  • Gene Toennies – I know very little about Toennies. Hopefully I can speak with him at one of the forums to see how this candidate from Cresbard stands on issues.
  • Michele Harrison – I don’t really know a lot about her as a candidate. But living in Mobridge is a huge advantage in this race. I believe Mobridge is the highest population town in District 23. I will be interested to hear what she has to say at one of the forums.

District 23 Senate race. 

The District 23 Senate race is drastically less interesting. The only candidate in this race is incumbent Republican Senator Corey Brown. It’s sad to see a lack of opposition in any race… I think it can be pretty much assumed the candidate forums are focused purely upon the House primary, and not on Senator Brown.

040914 Updated Sign

040914 Updated Sign

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    April 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    District 23 is my home district. What a bunch of clowns. When Brown was running, I supported him with a campaign contribution as well as campaigning for him. I told him about the abuse of power in the Capitol building. He made it sound like he was going to do something. He did. He sold me down the river and tried to blame me for making trouble for the bureaucrats. The last time I saw him was at his insurance office. I laid out some issues he seemed to be interested in. He said he would keep me informed on what was going on in the legislature. That was at least two years ago but I haven’t heard from him yet. He took up political science at Notre Dame. His whole life is about politics. I think his long range goal may to be governor or something. He is a pretty slick dude. He likes to downplay himself to come off like a nice boy. He hates it when I won’t call him Corey and insist on calling him Senator Brown. Anybody who shakes my hand, takes my money and then sells me out is not my friend.

    It’s quite a story how the Brown’s made their money. The old man was a crook who made money screwing the government. There quite a few good Jim Brown stories around.

    Cronin is pretty much a failure as a business man. His bar and convenience store burned down a few years ago and he hasn’t rebuilt. He doesn’t have to work because he is part of the Cronin dynasty. They own large tracts of land and several John Deere dealerships in a couple states. They pay their employees poorly and have trouble keeping workers.

    Even Senator Brown isn’t impressed with Cronin. I tried to contact Cronin several times, but he never returned my calls. The Cronins were close friends with Janklow and Janklow hated me and tried to blame for his downfall.

    I used to run as an Independent.in district 23. I didn’t have to worry about getting elected because 23 has to the most closed minded Republican holdout anywhere.Cronin and Brown live in my hometown. I know them well.

    • April 15, 2014 at 8:44 am

      I still think you should be doing a blog and getting what you know out there.

      • Merlyn Schutterle
        April 15, 2014 at 10:01 am

        I don’t know how to do a blog.

  2. Drew
    April 16, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Let’s hope that an actual Conservative wins one of the seats.

    • Merlyn Schutterle
      July 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      I don’t know why. The conservatives are just as screwed up as the liberals. They just don’t know it. Remember Janklow and Nixon? Conservatives don’t want to own up to that.

  3. May 29, 2014 at 11:19 pm

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  4. Merlyn Schutterle
    May 31, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I voted for somebody I don’t even know for rep for 23, but is sure wasn’t for Cronin. He’ll get in anyway. I also voted for Stace and Lora. They will both lose.

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  1. April 22, 2014 at 11:35 am
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