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State Representative District 31 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Description: The South Dakota State Legislature is the legislative branch of the government of South Dakota. It is a bicameral legislative body, consisting of the Senate which has 35 members, and the House of Representatives, which has 70 members. The two houses are similar in most respects; the Senate alone holds the right to confirm gubernatorial appointments to certain offices. The Legislature meets at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre. It begins its annual session of the second Tuesday of January each year. The legislative session lasts 40 working days in odd-numbered years, and 35 days working days in even numbered years. Term: 4 consecutive 2 year termsSalary: $6,000 + $142 per legislative dayRequirements for Office: 21 years old; 2 years residency; qualified voter; may not have been convicted of bribery, perjury or other infamous crime; may not have illegally taken "public moneys".Petition Requirements: Depends on party and legislative district. See SD Secretary of State's website for details.

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  • Brooke Abdallah
    (DEM)

  • Mary Fitzgerald
    (REP)

  • Candidate picture

    Scott Odenbach
    (REP)

Biographical Information

What will you do to support the economy throughout our state in the face of international trade conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic?

What should our state government do to provide an equitable, quality public education for all children?

What would you do for our local governments, such as counties, cities and school boards, so that they can be flexible in responding to local issues?

How do you view the initiative and referendum process in South Dakota? Are there any changes to this system that you would support?

With the redistricting process happening after the 2020 Census, how do you view the legislature’s role in this process and would you support an independent citizen redistricting commission?

What are your plans to protect voter rights such as online or same-day voter registration as well as absentee voting/voting by mail?

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Push to involve the use of science and facts about the overall effect of the coronanavirus rather than scare tactics. In light of the evidence regarding the incredibly low hospitalization and fatality rates from this virus, it is time we open up our towns, take off the masks, get back to work, school, play and all the activities that make life great while safeguarding the elderly and vulnerable. In sum: Encourage everybody else to get back to living. In regards to international trade conflicts, the best thing we can do is develop our own ability to take our products direct from the producer to the consumer, thereby lessening the effects of things we cannot control that happen in other countries.
As someone who has served as a school board member both at private Christian schools and for a public school, I have seen the numerous ways that schools can and should find efficiencies, involve parents more and in general be responsive to the people that are paying their salaries - thus ensuring true "quality" for the consumer. Our South Dakota motto states that “Under God the people rule.” To best ensure education is truly “equitable,” school choice should be supported, to allow parents - the people - to be the ultimate decision-makers on where to spend their child’s education tax dollars, and on what kind of education. Doing so does not mean our public schools will necessarily suffer; in fact, as in other areas of life, becoming part of a system that encourages healthy competition may benefit the public school system as it could force innovations and considerations of “outside the box” ideas that otherwise do not happen when operating within a monopoly.
Their level of flexibility or lack thereof is established in the statutes that create and define these governmental entities. The best thing to do for them is to encourage good, smart, conservative, patriotic, engaged people to get involved, run for office, win and govern well! The best way to be flexible in responding to local issues is if you are able to stay engaged in the process and have hired good staff that respond when needed.
It has its place - in limited circumstances - when the Republican form of government established in our Constitution may have truly failed and the people feel the need to organize and take direct action. However, at no time should direct democracy be allowed to override people’s rights as protected in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The legislature is the entity chosen by the people under our constitutional system of government to represent them. Members are directly answerable to the people, to their voters. The concept of an “independent” commission gives me pause because such independence also means independence from the will of the people who will have to live under their decisions.
The best way to protect voter rights, and with it the integrity of our system, is to ensure that every vote is valid, may be counted in a timely manner that protects the integrity of the ballot, and may therefore uphold people’s confidence in our elections. The way to do this is to ensure that those voting are first, citizens of our Republic, and second, that their vote is carried out in a manner leaving no questions about the integrity of their ballot. This may primarily be done with in-person voting at local polling places where volunteers - from both parties - are present to cross-check the voter rolls when people present themselves to vote. In other more limited circumstances, such as elderly, vulnerable or sick persons, after swearing in writing as to their status, they may vote by mail or have others assist them.Voting is a sacred duty in our Republic and should be treated as such by those wishing to exercise this right.