• May 2020
  • A PUBLICATION OF THE GREATER SIOUX FALLS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Get to Know the Legislative Candidates Running
in June's Primary


Citizens of the Sioux Falls area will participate in a combined election on June 2nd. Along with City Council and School Board candidates, citizens of Districts 6, 9, 12, and 14 will also vote for candidates running in legislative primaries. To help voters get to know the our area's legislative candidates for June's primary, the Chamber put together a questionnaire for each candidate. Here's how each candidate answered:

Stay tuned for specific information on the legislators that did not answer...


District 6

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Candidate running for State Representative
Aaron Aylward
609 Kent Street, Harrisburg, SD 57032
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Aaron-Aylward-for-SD-District-6-House
Occupation: Service and sales for Cintas
Education: M.A. in Kinesiology from the University of South Dakota
Family: Wife, Callie, two sons, Jax (7) and Kade (6).
Years residing in your district: 7 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
If elected, I plan on helping to get our state economy back on track by cutting needless regulation and proposing ways in which the constituents can keep more of their hard-earned money in their own banks. This will in turn make the state as a whole more prosperous. I will also make it a priority to help protect peoples' rights (right to life, self-defense, property, etc.)


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
I would propose legislation that would allow the job market to open up, cut regulation that hinders business, and allow more work opportunities within the state. This will later on create more sales tax revenue. On top of that, I would take a look at what government programs are really needed and whether they're constitutional or not. By cutting programs that should not be in place, we can then take a look at things like education and see how those can be properly funded.


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Candidate running for State Representative
Nathan Block
620 N. Poplar Ave., Tea, SD 57064
Website: nathanblocksd.com
Occupation: Certified Public Accountant working in financial reporting
Education: Bachelor's degree with majors in Government and International Affairs and Business Administration from Augustana University 2013.
Family: Parents in Minnesota. Sister and brother living in the Sioux Falls area.
Years residing in your district: 4 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
This session will largely be about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has brought healthcare, economics and emergency preparedness to the forefront.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
This is going to be the major issue of the upcoming session. Difficult decisions will need to be made, as we are able to quantify the decreased revenue. The upcoming June special session will give South Dakotans and 2021 legislators a better understanding of the shortfall and the changes that are made to the Fiscal Year 2021 budget will impact the new session's decision making.


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Candidate running for State Representative
Ernie Otten
46787 273rd St, Tea SD 57064
Website: ottenforsouthdakota.com
Occupation: Contractor sales for Schoeneman's
Education: Lennox High School
Family: Wife, Betty, and two sons, Brad & Brian, and their families.
Years residing in your district: My entire life

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
Top priority will be the budget.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
At this point in time, our budget projection shortfalls are between 25-40%. Tourism is down 89% from last year. Last year's tourism revenue generated $309M. That shortfall would be $859 per household. That is just one stream of income. Video lottery is down 35% of normal. There is absolutely no way to ensure critical funding for the programs mentioned. We have no law yet that any Federal funds issued to SD or any other state for Covid19 relief can be used for state budget revenue shortfalls. This is a wait and see game with how our state economy rebounds when reopened for business.


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Candidate running for State Senator
Isaac Latterell
PO Box 801, Tea SD, 57064                                                                                                                                        

This candidate did not respond


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Candidate running for State Representative
Thomas Werner
2522 W 41st. #133, Sioux Falls, SD 57105                                                                                                                                        

This candidate did not respond



District 9

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Candidate running for State Representative
Michael Clark
45979 253rd Street, Hartford, SD 57033
Website: Mike4shhouse.com
Occupation: Technical support representative
Education: AA Business Administration from Southeast Technical Institute
Family: Wife and 1 adult daughter
Years residing in your district: 21 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
One thing this COVID-19 crisis has exposed is a vulnerability in our food chain, not just meat, other staples as well. We need to work with all levels of government, and companies to decentralize our food processing.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
There are no easy answers, cuts will have to made across all departments. We might be able to take what we have learned from this crisis and use it to help reduces some costs.


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Candidate running for State Representative
Rhonda Milstead
P.O. Box 532, Hartford, SD 57033
Website: rhondamilsteaddistrict9.com
Occupation: Semi-retired
Education: USF, business and theology
Family: Husband, Mike, and children, Jeremy and Jessie
Years residing in your district: 22 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
Priorities always will be keeping us on solid ground with strong families, access to great education, continually seeking economic opportunities to keep our young people here, growing business by keeping regulations low, opening agricultural markets to keep our foundations thriving....unless these all work together we will fail. None is any more important than any other.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
If we can convince Washington that it is COVID-19 that is critically impacting those revenues, allowing us to use the federal dollars allocated to South Dakota to fill in the gaps caused by a lack of spending and therefore a loss of primarily sales tax revenues, we can maintain our goals for workforce development and education as well as continuing to support the people of our great state without considering tax adjustments. The dollars are there, they just need to be made available.


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Candidate running for State Representative
Bethany Soye
P.O. Box 84124, Sioux Falls, SD 57118
Website: bethanysoye.com
Occupation: BSA/AML Compliance at MetaBank
Education: B.S. Business Administration from North Central University (Minneapolis), J.D. and Master of Public Policy from the College of William & Mary.
Family: Husband Ryan Soye
Years residing in your district: 3 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
Balancing the budget.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
We are facing unprecedented times and the 2021 Legislative Session will be extremely challenging. The Legislature will have to take a hard look at what programs can take a temporary cut in order to balance the budget while maintaining workforce and education funding. We will have to determine truly essential government functions and focus on providing those services. It is my hope that South Dakota will bounce back from the economic downturn quickly and we will be able to restore the cut funding in the next year or two.



District 12

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Candidate running for State Representative
George Hendrickson
2716 S. Lincoln Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Website: www.georgehendrickson.com
Occupation: Business owner/property maintenance contractor
Education: Training in Aviation, Auto Body Repair, Criminal Justice, and South Dakota Law Enforcement Training Center, 109th Session Certification.
Family: Wife, Kristin, and children Payley (14), Piper (13) and Eliyah (7).
Years residing in your district: 26 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
Agricultural Prosperity: The core economic engine in our country and more importantly, our state, is agriculture. Like all industries, government bureaucracy and regulation stifle this industry from being able to achieve its maximum potential. Deregulation, allowing family farmers to grow, raise and pursue alternative crops to expand their profitability is always in the best interest of our state... and vital to our nation's food supply.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
The first step is to make sure that we don't have any obvious wasteful spending. We need to look at our economic development allowances for what has had the largest revenue recapture rate and build on them if possible. We may have some additional tax revenue from some Initiated Measures and/or Constitutional Amendments that are going to be on the ballot this year that has a historically large tax revenue. Beyond this, it is prudent to look at a home owner's property tax reduction. A reduction in owner-occupied property tax can stimulate homeownership, which increases home sales and construction, ultimately increasing the number of taxable dwellings for revenue aside from all the associated economic stimulation from the entire support industry that makes new homeownership possible from sales tax revenue.


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Candidate running for State Representative
Greg Jamison
6300 S. Grand Prairie Dr., Sioux Falls, SD 57108
Occupation: Real Estate/Marketing at Jamison Company Real Estate
Education: Real Estate Pre-License Course, University of South Dakota Mass Communication/Criminal Justice
Family: Wife, Beth, two children Dan & Jessica and one grandchild William
Years residing in your district: 15 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
My top priority is keeping government limited. I will work with other legislators along with Governor Noem to keep our state government small and nimble so we all can avoid unnecessary tax burdens. State revenues are going to be short, but because of the hard work and tough decisions made by previous legislators, Governors and South Dakota voters we have kept our state government financially sound. Our smaller limited government in South Dakota will allow us to recover better than other states during the Covid-19 crisis.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
The coming Legislative Session will require us to continue tough scrutiny of all spending and proposals for new services. I will make sure essential funding for education, health, law enforcement and economic development continues. Difficult decisions about funding will need to be made by all elected officials across America due to the Covid-19 economic impacts. My 8 years' experience as a Sioux Falls City Councilmember during the 2009 recession and as a previous legislator will allow me to address critical spending while maintaining a balanced budget.


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Candidate running for State Representative
Arch Beal
4001 W 74th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57108                                                                                                                                        

This candidate did not respond


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Candidate running for State Representative
Amy B Miller
4105 W 82nd St., Sioux Falls, SD 57108                                                                                                                                        

This candidate did not respond



District 14

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Candidate running for State Representative
Tom Holmes
4709 Shields Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD
Website: Tomforsd14.com
Occupation: Retired educator
Education: B.A. University of St. Thomas (Education and History); M.A. University of Sioux Falls (Administration)
Family: Wife, Sue, and son, Lucas
Years residing in your district: 40 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
My top priority for the 2021 Session, if elected, would be to ensure that our teachers and health care providers receive the compensation they deserve. I am acutely aware that education and workforce development go hand in hand.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
There is the possibility of federal assistance to help states in coping with the economic distress precipitated by the pandemic. Such assistance would be very welcome. However, if such assistance is not forthcoming the legislature will be confronted with a very difficult situation.

There may be a need to make cuts to current funding. I would strongly resist any effort to reduce funding for education as stipulated in the legislation passed in 2016. I would be open to the use of the Governor's Reserve Funds on a one-year basis to help alleviate the situation.


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Candidate running for State Representative
Taylor Rehfeldt
905 S. Cloudas Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Website: www.taylorrehfeldt.com
Occupation: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Director and Interim Assistant Program Director, Mount Marty College Nurse Anesthesia Program
Education: Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP)-Mount Marty College (2019), Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia-Mount Marty College (2016), Bachelor of Science in Nursing-South Dakota State University (2011), Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Sciences-South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (2010)
Family: Husband, Corey, and children Flynn (4) and Judith (2)
Years residing in your district: 5 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
My top priorities are healthcare, education and keeping SD business friendly. COVID-19 has brought very specific and unique challenges. I am excited to offer my expertise as a Registered Nurse (RN), educator and small business owner.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
The situation is dynamic and requires flexibility. I think it is important to understand the COVID-19 federal recovery packages. The impacts of COVID-19 are going to require collaboration and multifaceted solutions. I look forward to working with constituents, healthcare and business leaders, as well as the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce.


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Candidate running for State Senate
David Zellmer
3601 S. Harmony Dr., Sioux Falls, SD 57110
Website: zellmerforsenate.com
Occupation: Interim Bishop for the Western North Dakota Synod, ELCA, until September
Education: BS of Psychology and Minor in Sociology, Southwestern Oklahoma State University; Master of Divinity, Luther Theological Seminary.
Family: Wife, LaDonna, and 4 children and 11 grandchildren
Years residing in your district: 12 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
My top priority would be to address the budget challenges and shortfalls created by the coronavirus pandemic.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
I believe this is a two-pronged approach. First, it is mission critical that the state of South Dakota work with the Federal Government to ensure the $1.2 billion federal dollars can be earmarked to cover the anticipated budget shortfall. Second, I believe it is important to avoid tapping in to the 10% budget reserve of the state of South Dakota. Doing so would greatly jeopardize our AAA bond rating which is crucial for our state.


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Candidate running for State Senate
Larry P. Zikmund
2405 East 52nd, Sioux Falls
Website: www.larryzikmund.com
Occupation: Retired
Education: Associate of Arts, BS Industrial Education, MED Vocational Administration
Family: Wife, Judi, and children/grandchildren: Jill andJay Schunneman, Claire and Carly; and Allison and Casey Thompson, Brendan, Brody and Brecken.
Years residing in your district: 25 years

1. If elected, what is your top priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session?
The top priority in the coming session will be for the legislature to do everything possible to help South Dakotans return to work in a safe and stable environment.


2. With COVID-19 our state's projected revenues have fallen short. How will you ensure critical funding for programs such as workforce development and education with decreased tax dollars?
As a State Representative for six years, and a former lobbyist, I have always been very supportive of workforce development and education, and will work hard with the Legislature and Governor to determine priorities. We will need to determine where adjustments can be made in order to fund our priorities. Experience matters as the legislature tackles these challenging issues.


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Candidate running for State Representative
Brad Lindwurm
2400 S Cliff Ave, Apt. 2, Sioux Falls, SD                                                                                                                                        

This candidate did not respond



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