More on the Katus race from today's RCJ
The Rapid City Journal has an article today on what dropping 5 seats in the legislature means to the balance of power in that house, as well as what is going to have to be done to get legislation through:
But Katus also had plenty to ponder politically as he pattered off into the gathering dusk. His win against Schwiesow, a formidable campaigner who had aligned herself with the abortion ban rejected by voters Tuesday, disrupted a familiar Republican sweep of Black Hills legislative races. It also helped Democrats gain five seats in the Senate.Read it all here.
Going from a paltry 10 seats to a more-competitive 15 in the 35-member Senate will still leave Democrats three short of a majority, something they haven’t accomplished in more than a decade.
But the new Democratic presence could be magnified by coalitions on certain issues with moderate Republicans. Former District 32 House member Mike Wilson, a moderate Democrat known for his conciliatory approach, said the Legislature offers the potential for bipartisan coalitions.
“Even when there were 20 House Democrats and 50 House Republicans, we’d reach out to those moderate 30 Republicans and band together to pass legislation that made sense,” Wilson said. “It wasn’t always about party, but a common vision. That’s always been the case.”
However, the five additional Senate seats could give Democrats “a voice at the table that they might not have otherwise had with only 10 senators,” Wilson said.
District 34 Republican Sen. Royal “Mac” MacCracken said he expects to work with Katus and other new Democratic senators on issues important to the Black Hills and the state. McCracken said he wasn’t surprised to see a slight shift in the composition of the Senate.