Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > Burt Elliott talks about his residency at the Brown County Democrat lunch

Burt Elliott talks about his residency at the Brown County Democrat lunch

October 19, 2014
Burt Elliot speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 10/17/14

Burt Elliott speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 10/17/14

Earlier I posted about the Brown County Democrats Dollar-a-Month club meeting at Pizza Ranch in Aberdeen. After the meeting District 3 Democrat State House candidate Burt Elliott rose to talk about his housing situation for a moment. He has taken criticism from Republicans for running in District 3, while actually residing in district 2. This is a big issue. I’ve spoken with a few current legislators (including one Democrat that wishes to remain unnamed) that have stated concerns about whether Elliott will be allowed to take his seat in the State Legislature in the event Elliott wins the election. There is a possibility that the Speaker of the House can refuse to seat Elliott because he does not meet the basic requirements of a legislator from District 3.

Elliott stated that he has been in Aberdeen for fifty years. He said the apartment he bought in town was done so he can “run in the Aberdeen District. Where I live. Where I belong. Where I’ve spent fifty of sixty-seven years. Elliott says everyone in Aberdeen knows where he is all year (he is implying in Aberdeen, didn’t actually say that though). Further he said everyone in town knows his opponent (Al Novstrup) spends four months of year in Sioux Falls or Fargo. Elliott then says that during the forum a couple of weeks ago Al Novstrup made a cheap shot at his wife Elaine, who has Parkinson’s disease. Therefore he believes Al is a bully.

After this event I had the opportunity to catch up with Al Novstrup at a public meet and greet . He said he had not taken any shot at Elaine Elliott. He only wanted to point out that Burt Elliott does not live in District 3. Al says that Elliott’s residence is in District 2. His question about Elaine had to do with how moving into a basement apartment helped her reduce the use of stairs. In regards to where Al sleeps, he notes that he stays with relatives for the forty days that he sleeps in Sioux Falls for work. His wife and sock drawer remain in Aberdeen; specifically in a portion of Aberdeen that is a part of District 3.

I don’t think this issue is going away any time soon. Obviously the Republicans want to keep this seat. But going beyond that, I think everyone should be at least wary of what will happen in the event Elliott wins this race. If it is found that Elliott is not in fact living in District 3, then the Speaker of the House can refuse to seat Elliott. That will leave an open seat in the SD Legislature, and potentially lead to the Governor appointing a replacement. Even if things do not go that far it will cause a potential legal battle or continued attacks going back and forth between the two parties over the matter. I’m not sure what Elliott can do, but he needs to find a way to end this issue before November 4. If Elliott isn’t able to find a way to prove his actual residence, this small series of attacks back and forth may get truly nasty.

  1. Where is the Aberdeen American News?
    October 19, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Burt doesn’t seem to understand that it isn’t a question of Aberdeen residency but legislative district residency:

    When filing his petition on March 10th 2014 he said he lives at: 1704 S 4th to run for office in district 3

    But on his speeding ticket that was reported in the American News October 6th 2014 (8 months after filing his petitions) he tells the officer that he is living at: 13687 387th Ave., speeding, fined $105. (that address is district 2)


    Honestly it shouldn’t be a partisan issue. The newspaper in Aberdeen reported on his speeding ticket and should follow up with him on which address is actually right. There is nothing partisan about this. It is all about character and holding up the integrity of elected office.

    It honestly has more to do with Burt Elliot being inconsistent.

    • October 20, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Yeah, I think this will continue to snowball for him if he doesn’t do something. Burt is a nice guy, but even his nice-guy image can’t over come this if he doesn’t come out with straight answers.

  2. Slim
    October 20, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Well, they seated Jim Peterson 2 years ago even though he lived in 5 and ran and won in 4.

    • October 20, 2014 at 8:34 am

      I’ve heard a couple of examples brought up. I do agree there is a lack of consistency on both sides of the issue.

  3. Slim
    October 20, 2014 at 12:27 am

    The speeding ticket would list the address that was on his drivers license, so that may not be a pertinent point.

  4. Liberty Dick
    October 20, 2014 at 11:13 am

    The speeding ticket is his current address since that is what police officers are trained to ask for in the event the subject has moved and not notified the transportation office. Also if you move and notify them they don’t make you purchase a new license they simply change it in their system so the address on the license may not be correct.
    Bottom line is Burt broke the law to run in D3 and a vote for Burt is a vote for a Daugaard appointee. The hammer is going to come down on all these crazy election shenanigans this year, ask Bosworth.

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