Hopefully the Democrats won't crawl back into their den after seeing their shadow. It would mean six more weeks of rhetoric.

Kevin Woster over at the Rapid City Journal reports on the efforts of Democratic Activist Steve Hildebrand to recruit pro-choice candidates for the Democratic party. (Never minding that a majority of Democratic Lawmakers voted for HB1215). The article details three DEM candidates who are emerging from the controversy :

Opponents of the controversial ban of almost all abortions that was approved by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Mike Rounds have started recruiting candidates to challenge lawmakers who voted for the bill.

Steve Hildebrand, a Sioux Falls political consultant and organizer of the public-issues group Common Sense South Dakota, said the goal of the candidate-recruitment effort was to challenge incumbents whom the group considers to be conservative extremists. But the focus is on HB1215, which would allow abortions only when needed to save the pregnant woman’s life.

“Legislative candidates are now emerging as a result of 1215 and extremist positions by the Legislature on other issues,” Hildebrand said. “We have some exceptional candidates.”

The candidates include one former Republican lawmaker who switched to the Democratic party last week, largely because of the signing of HB1215. Former state Rep. Rebekah Cradduck of Sioux Falls served a year in the Senate by appointment and was elected to the House for the 2003 and 2004 sessions. She said Sunday night that she would run as a Democrat against Republican Sen. Jason Gant of Sioux Falls in District 11.

“Being a moderate is just incredibly challenging in the Republican Party,” she said. “Everyone talks about the big tent, but it’s not big enough, I guess. House Bill 1215 was too extreme, and it seemed to me that the extreme of the party is suddenly the mainstream voice of the party.”


Cradduck said she waited for three days after Rounds signed HB1215 to think it over. Then, she changed her party registration to Democrat and took out petitions to run.

Hildebrand said Cradduck represented an invigorated body of centrists who have been troubled by the increasingly extreme nature of the state Legislature, particularly on social issues.

Sioux Falls lawyer Scott Heidepriem, a former Republican state legislator known for his moderate views, is expected to challenge Republican Sen. Dick Kelly in District 13 in Sioux Falls, Hildebrand said.

Sandy Jerstad, formerly a successful softball coach for Augustana College who is well known in Sioux Falls, will challenge Republican Sen. Bill Earley of Sioux Falls in District 12.

“Her candidacy has to do with 1215, but also the overreaching of the Legislature on personal issues,” Hildebrand said. “Sandy will be a phenomenal candidate.”
Read it all here. Sandy Jerstad is a new candidate to emerge from this article, as Rebekah and Heidepreim had been mentioned before.

One thing this article reiterates and that Republicans should take notice of - Dems are focusing on the legislature. And keep in mind that it's not anticipated that they will have other races that are going to drain funds. Expect a big legislative push in 2006.


Anonymous said…
If Heidepriem and Cradduck are "moderates", then are there any "liberals"?

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