Independents day

In today’s Aberdeen American News, Columnist Ruth Wood gets some free press by announcing that she’s running as an independent in the District 23 House Race:
When I paid our taxes at the treasurer's office I looked next door at the auditor's office. I thought, "What would it hurt to at least ask some questions?" Even though I had a very bad case of laryngitis, I asked some questions ... and I walked out with a petition.

I was told I would learn a lot in the process. Immediately I learned that while the people who circulated a petition for party nominations in the primary only had to get 50 signatures, I would have to get 1 percent of the people who voted for governor in my district in 2002. As an Independent, however, I could get any registered voter to sign. Still 107 signatures sounded like an impossible task.

I wavered daily as I moved through the process of collecting signatures. Do I really want to be a candidate? I don't have anything against the two incumbents except I believe it is healthy to have competition. A person works harder when he is challenged. I could have picked any other position where only the incumbents are running, but I chose District 23 Representative.

What do I have to offer? Am I the best candidate? I don't have all the answers, but will try to ask the right questions. How could I tell my grandchildren to be competitors if I am afraid to compete myself? What kind of example am I to my 11 grandchildren?
Well, good for her. It always nice to see candidates interested in the process, but as far as I know, there’s no call for the removal of Hackl or Davis in the least. Even Ruth is admitting that herself by saying that she doesn’t “have anything against the two incumbents except I believe it is healthy to have competition.”

Somehow, I think she’s going to have trouble making an effective case against them, and she is just setting herself up for a butt-kicking.

Now before you all start beating me up, yes, Independents have won office in South Dakota before. It can be done. But it isn’t easy. In fact, I think it’s probably the most difficult type of race to run.

The example that comes to mind was when Republican legislator Mary Wagner had a problem with her petitions at the deadline for filing. With her petitions disqualified, it was either leave the seat to a Democrat or run as an Independent.

As she related to me on one occasion, she ended up turning petitions in as a Republican-Affiliated Independent and campaigned harder than she had ever campaigned before or after and made it. But, by her own admission, it was grueling – and that was with the dual advantages of incumbency and prior campaign experience.

Speaking of independents, there’s a couple more on the ballot. Calvin Jones Jr. from District 26A is running against Barry Jensen as well as the winner of the Democratic Primary. Calvin held the distinction of being the lowest vote getter in the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Tribal Council election in 2006 for his district (3 votes, District 4).

And as I had mentioned some time ago, Karen Ballert is taking on Jerry Apa for District 31 Senate (and Jerry is expected to win his office back handily).

I’d note that there’s still plenty of time for more to jump in the race. June 6, which the rest of us know as Primary Election Day is also the last day for independent candidates to file nominating petitions with the Secretary of State or county auditor per SDCL 12-7-1, via the Secretary of State’s Office.

And by this time in November, we’ll know whether or not any of them were up to the challenge.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Didn't Hackl ,who is from Hoven, the hotbed of pro-life Catholics, vote against HB 1215, the anti-abortion bill?? That would certainly give some voters a reason to vote against him.
Publisher said…
As it happens, I know Ruth Wood and look forward to voting for her in November. I hope some of you District 23ers will join me.
Anonymous said…
Hackl is pro-life. He first voted against 1215 because of the timing issue, don't have a majority of pro-life judges on the US Supreme Court yet.

He voted for the final version that came out of the senate.
Anonymous said…
The make-up of the Supreme Court was the same at the time of both votes. How do we know what it will be like if and when the bill gets there. Sounds like a dumb excuse for a pro-lifer.

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