How old is Delores Coffing? To quote a song:
In 1814, she took a little trip, Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.

And I heard she fired her guns and the British kept a comin.. (apologies to the Battle of New Orleans).

okay. Joking aside, I'm sure Delores wasn't born in the 1800's. Really. Despite that fact, she's not fessing up on her age to voters in today's Rapid City Journal article about her race against Ethan Schmidt:

Though she never divulges her age, Pennington County Commissioner Delores Coffing acknowledges that she has been around for quite some time.

In 1969, she was the county commission's recorder and worked in the auditor's office. She was a member of the Rapid City Council from 1987 to 1995 before being appointed to the county commission to fill the term of Neil Strand, who had been elected to the Legislature.

At the end of this year, Coffing will have served on the county commission for 12 years, and she hopes voters will return her to office for another four.

Coffing faces a challenge in the June 6 Republican primary from Ethan Schmidt, a member of the Rapid City planning commission. With no candidate on the Democratic ballot, the winner of the primary will earn a four-year term on the county commission, unless an independent files.

"I don't think anybody should ever lose interest in life," Coffing said. "There are some things that I want to see come to fruition."

One of those is the liquor tax. Pennington County has tried for several years to push through a new tax on liquor that would be used to help counties pay for alcohol treatment programs and law enforcement costs.

"It didn't get on the ballot this time. We didn't get enough signatures. We didn't get enough people to circulate petitions, and I'll be darned if I'm going to pay somebody $2 to get a signature," Coffing said. "It irks me that the counties don't get anything, other than the total responsibility. Nothing to back it up, yet municipalities do get liquor money."

Coffing believes that the liquor tax will eventually be approved, but she said there were so many initiatives this year that people were probably tired of having petitions shoved at them.
I'm not sure if that was the story the rest of us have been hearing. I seem to recall that the Pennington County Commission put her in charge of it, and the next thing we heard was that it wasn't going anywhere. And that was loooooong before many ballot issues had even started circulating.

Her opponent, Ethan Schmidt doesn't seem intimidated by her experience
Schmidt said he doesn't fear running against someone with as much experience as Coffing.

"I'm not negative at all, but I think there are a lot of other factors. Just number of years doesn't necessarily mean quality," he said. "I've been going door to door for about a month or so, and what I hear a lot of people saying is that it's time for a change and new ideas and fresh energy. That's been very encouraging."
Read it all here.


Anonymous said…
Her age doesnt matter, her usefulness and effectiveness expired a long long time ago.
She has been an elected official for 20 plus years but I dont believe she has won more than 3 or 4 races, she was always unoppossed.
bye bye Delores
Anonymous said…
Delores would of cut your head off,,lol
Ethan is still a step up from Coffing.
whats a middle schooler doing hawking nugent tickets ??
did your mom n dad allow you to go to these concerts ?
you raise more questions than you answered,,haha
Anonymous said…
No, YOU"RE the one raising the questions! I believe that I make it quite clear that I went to school with Ethan in middle school, but these events took place after I'd moved to Rapid City and take place during my senior year of high school. I chose to share this story's all about the principle: How's someone who treats his friends that way really going to respect the interests of his constituents? Furthermore, Ethan's another candidate who "wants to make a difference." What the hell is that supposed to mean, anyway? It's not saying a thing! Start with defining what "Making a difference" means to you, Ethan. That WOULD be making a difference, rather than regurgitating a worn out waste of words. I've got an idea: Why not make a pledge to accurately represent the interests of the people you serve? Now, THAT would make a difference, as well as be a pleasant change from the current SD political scenery! Anyhow, I honestly don't know a thing about Delores Coffing, but I think she raises a very valid point in questioning Ethan's ability to invest the time required for this position. I think "making a difference" really means "using this office as a stepping stone to higher aspirations". Finally, I've always been a little skeptical of "lawyers cum politicians". Lawyers distort the truth and make legal maneuvers around existing laws in the name of the highest bidder. One who makes a living out of "redefining reality" is not the sort of person I want to see as a lawmaker.
PP said…
Jay - as I mentioned on another place on this blog, I'm redacting your story. Not because I have a problem with your position, but it's not something I have an ability to defend.
Anonymous said…
jay b;

Lightn up man !
I was pokin fun, thats what the haha was for.
I hope you and ethan are different and better people than you were in high school. I hope that I will not be judged my whole life by one moment of time from my high school years. I am certain, that the event as you described it , is not the norm for Ethan. If it was, he would and will be known as a jerk by the rest of us.
Also, you dont have to be a lawyer to distort reallity, Delores has few peers in that department. In fact, maybe if one of the 5 commissioners were a lawyer, they could bring a valuable perspective to the table.
Anyways jay b; get out of the bleachers come down onto the field and play the game, stop criticizing the players and show us what YOU got. Run for office and win, show us how its done right, sounds like you might make a very good elected official (unless you did something dumb in highschool,,haha)
Anonymous said…
Well thank you and you're right. We all HAVE done stupid things in high school and (hopefully) have matured from our younger days. I'm going to seriously consider your suggestion that I seek public office in the future (however, it seems to me that success in SD politics might involve converting to Catholicism). JB

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