A possible Mayors’ Idle Speculation;
Knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em

I’m not sure if people just pimp me on this stuff, because it’s all I care about. Eating, sleeping, bathing… maybe not eating but the rest are all thrown to the wind for politics.

I had mentioned in the previous post about Representative Casey Murschel throwing her hat into the Sioux Falls Mayoral Ring along with Mayor Dave Munson, and the anticipated candidacy of Darrin Smith, along with assorted others.

Not two hours after I wrote that did I hear some more conjecture and speculation about the race. It’s third-hand information, but what I’m told is that there was to be a Republican to enter that mayoral race, but noone expected her. Supposedly, Representative Murshel’s entrance into the fray was unexpected and unplanned. Meaning that there may yet be another high profile Sioux Falls Republican Legislator set to jump in.

If true, this makes it all even wilder. But lets throw something else into the mix - factor in that the April 11th Sioux Falls Mayoral Election is exactly 1 week after the deadline to file legislative petitions. It's entirely possible that Representative Murschel and/or another Republican legislator will circulate two petitions to possibly hedge their bets.

It’s not outside of the realm of possibility to expect a legislator seeking something this chancy to be prepared to run for both. The advantage in this unique situation? The mayoral race is done when the legislative race is barely out of the starting gate. So, theoretically, it’s physically possible to run for both. But is it legal?

From what I can tell on the state law end of things, I don’t see it as illegal to file for both – it’s just illegal to hold both at once.

Article 3, section 3 of the State Constitution states:
No … person holding any lucrative office under the United States, or this state, or any foreign government, shall be a member of the Legislature.
And this is backed up by a couple of official Attorney General opinions (85-23, 84-24, and 82-23) authored by Mark Meierhenry, who is now embroiled in his own little controversy with the US Attorney's office. Regardless, Mark was pretty tough on those types of conflicts. AG Roger Tellinghusen was less so, according to his opinion on a similar duality.

But if you asked me, in this situation, it's not the holding of two offices that's important. It's all a matter of timing. I think timing is key.

If a sitting legislator was successful in an attempt for usch a seat, with the delay between the time of the mayoral election, and time of taking office, there would certainly be sufficient time for the legislator/mayor elect to withdraw from their legislative seat/legislative candidacy, and allow the governor/county party to make appointments for the respective vacant positions.

Absent a provision in the Sioux Falls Charter prohibiting such an action, we very well may see two current legislators running, leaving one or both to lick their wounds and seek solace by returning to their legislative seat.

With all that nonsense being said, I'm looking for Todd Epp's position on all of this.

He's a lawyer, not me.

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