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2014 election candidates share views: Annual Lincoln Day Dinner held Thursday

Posted: Monday, Oct 14th, 2013

HURON — Republican constitutional and U.S. Senate candidates in the 2014 election — some of them familiar faces, others newcomers to political races — had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the local party faithful at Thursday’s Beadle County Lincoln Day dinner.

And two of them used part of their time to describe the challenge West River ranch families are facing in the aftermath of the catastrophic blizzard.

Former Gov. Mike Rounds, one of four GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said South Dakotans are thinking about the farmers and ranchers who lost most if not all of their cattle herds in the storm.

State Sen. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, also a U.S. Senate candidate in the June primary, said his family was spared from the devastating losses, but that most of his neighbors were not.

But he said none of them have called to ask him as a state legislator about government assistance.

“My next call will be my first,” Rhoden said. The only thing fellow ranchers asked when he was done helping them round up cattle was what they could do to repay him.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that’s the spirit, that’s the work ethic that made our country great,” he said.

Auditor Steve Barnett is seeking a second term, and he said Republicans will be putting up a strong ticket next year.

Deputy Commissioner of School and Public Lands Ryan Brunner, a candidate for commissioner, said his qualifications include a background in native culture, an education in agricultural economics and experience in economic development.

The office manages 768,000 acres of state-owned property and 350,000 acres of leased oil and gas operations. A $228 million trust fund is managed by the South Dakota Investment Council. One of the members is the commissioner.

About $10 million in revenue is distributed to education each year.

Public Utilities Commission member Gary Hanson has 12 years of legislative experience. He has served on the Sioux Falls City Council and as Sioux Falls mayor.

While the PUC works to ensure there is responsible, reliable and affordable electricity for citizens, he said the commission also must protect the utility companies so they succeed, he said.

“It’s a very complicated, challenging job,” Hanson said.

Secretary of State candidate Shantel Krebs is a state senator from Renner who has 10 years of legislative experience. A native of Kingsbury County, she has experience as a businesswoman in Sioux Falls.

An important arm of the office is the elections division, which must operate with integrity and fairness, Krebs said.

Political newcomer Dr. Annette Bosworth is seeking the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate. She describes herself as someone who has been tested, can be trusted and is a real conservative.

As a physician, she said she looks at her patients and proceeds in their best interest, no matter who they are.

If voters want the same results in Washington, D.C., as they are seeing today they should not choose her, she said. Voters should cast their ballots for her if they want someone other than a career politician or lawyer.

Bosworth said she is a pro-life conservative who grew up hearing that abortion is OK.

“As a physician, I can tell you it’s not,” she said.

State Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, said he represents his constituents no matter their political affiliation. He is running for the U.S. Senate because he was asked to do so, he said.

Nelson is retired from the Marine Corps. He was also a federal agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Rounds said Congress must balance the federal budget and start repaying the debt or it will be passed on to future generations.

By law, South Dakota must balance its state budget.

The federal government’s top responsibility is national defense, but it must also protect those who cannot protect themselves, he said.

For the complete article see the 10-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-12-2013 paper.

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