Democrats report on their new candidates.

From tonight's edition of e-news from the Blues - the SDDP reports on who some of their new candidates are going to be:
New Candidates Energize Party
Monday, March 27, 2006 at 2:50 PM
Pierre, SD

According to Chairwoman Judy Olson Duhamel, the South Dakota Democratic Party has been energized by the number and quality of candidates stepping forward to run for the state legislature.

“South Dakotans are hungry for leadership, and are recognizing that this one-party rule in Pierre has left them voiceless,” Olson Duhamel said. “They watch as partisan Republicans concentrate on sex legislation and radical ideas, while ignoring the meat and potato issues of education, wages, health care, rural economic development, and open government.”

“There’s a groundswell of support for a return to Democratic values,” Olson Duhamel continued. “Quality candidates are energized by the arrogance they see on display in the Statehouse, and are committing themselves to making South Dakota a better place to live.”

Olson Duhamel singled out several new faces she believes will make a big difference in November:

“Democrats are excited to have Nancy Turbak on the ticket. Her reputation is sterling and her choice to run as a Democrat is an indication of her commitment to the people of our fine state.”

“Rebekah Cradduck is a former Republican legislator who couldn’t find room for her moderate views in the narrow confines of the current SDGOP. Her ideas and plans are a welcome addition to the SDDP.”

“I was privileged to serve in the Senate with Scott Heidepriem, a bright, articulate leader who commanded respect from both political parties. We are truly honored that he is running as a Democrat and that he will bring his talents, and heart and soul back to the legislature.”

“Courtney Clayborne is a highly thought of attorney in Rapid City. He comes from an outstanding family and brings those values with him as a candidate.”

“Sandy Jerstad garners nothing but praise from all who know her. Her success as a coach at Augastana and her community service has touched many lives.”

“Dennis Finch brings years of experience in state government dating to the Kneip years. South Dakotans are fortunate that he has chosen to return to public life.”

“Larry Lucus is an educator and former legislator returns as a candidate. Larry is a well-liked, serious student of all issues.”

“Patricia Norin from Centerville brings immense energy and competency as well as experience as a school board member.”

“We look forward to these and many more outstanding Democratic candidates carrying our message of core South Dakota values to victory in November,” Olson Duhamel said. “In addition, our current legislators took bold stands on the Democratic meat and potato issues in the 2006 legislative session. Working together with our new candidates, they will be able to forge solutions to the challenges facing our great state. It is the people who win when there are two strong voices in Pierre.”
One name that stands out on this list as awfully familiar is Courtney Clayborne. His name came up as a witness in a sexual harrassment trial this last week in Rapid City. What was his part of the testimony in this sexual harrasment lawsuit according to the Rapid City Journal?
...female employees reportedly reported the incidents to Courtney Clayborne, who was then the corporate attorney and chief operating officer for Barker & Little. Duffy said Clayborne's response was, "I can't do anything about it."
I'm sure that whole matter is going to go to appeal after the 4.1 million verdict against Clayborne's employer, Doug Hamilton. But this is one of those things that's going to remain in the back of people's minds when they think of Clayborne.

Regarding the former Republicans on the slate, I feel bad for losing Rebekah Cradduck because I liked her. I think when it's all said and done, she'll probably look back and realize that she's more at home in the GOP accomplishing things. I, for one, would welcome her back in a second.

On the other hand, I think Heidepreim did his darndest to climb the ladder on the GOP side. When his politics rendered him unelectable at the statewide level for the GOP, he switched to the DEM's and is going to try the ladder on the other side of the fence. Guess what? His politics haven't changed, so why would he magically be electable on the statewide level because he switched parties?

That being said, he's not a fool, nor is he a lackluster campaigner. Heidepreim knows how to win a legislative election. His Republican opponent Dick Kelly had better bring his "A" game to this race - and it had better be a darn sight better effort than he's put out before.

In 2002, I had a campaign operative who has been around longer than me, and whom I respect immensely hold out Dick's campaign materials as the perfect example of what NOT to do in a campaign. Blue text on yellow paper, a checkbox as on a ballot was integrated into the "K" of his name making it a graphic instead of clear text, and several other sins just made it her example of what not to do.

Does that sound harsh? Maybe. But if we want to hold on to what we have, the GOP needs to bring it's best efforts..


Ben Nesselhuf said…
PP – As someone who knows both Rebekah and Scott I thought I would add my 2 cents. (I seem to be posting a lot today) Rebekah is a terrific legislator and someone who understands the appropriations process like few others. (She would not have fallen into the trap of voting to cut money to SDPB) I always appreciated her and encouraged her to run again in either party. I offered to send her a check even if she was still a republican. I’m ecstatic that she is running as a democrat.
I’ve known Scott for a couple of years. He changed parties a few years ago because of the continued moving to the right of the Republicans. He had to be convinced to run for the senate this year. He was not going to run until the plethora of extremely conservative bills came up in Pierre and he realized that there needed to be some balance. I don’t believe that this is simply a first rung on the ladder for him but rather an attempt to help the state. I am also excited to have him on my side.
Both of these folks have always been moderates. In South Dakota the only party that welcomes moderates is the Democrats. Remember what happened when a few republicans said that the party should move from the extreme right? They were told by many elected officials and Republican executive board members to go away. This is the natural reaction to extremism. I don’t know how anyone can be surprised by defections. I expect we will see more before all is said and done.
Anonymous said…
"Continued moving to thr right" ? I don't think so! It just seems that way because the Dems, like BJ, have steadily moved to the left. If anything ,the GOP, has also moved to the left, compared to where it was a few decades ago.
Anonymous said…
You mean Dick Kelly is going to have to do more than take campaign pictures with puppies to win?

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