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State Representative District 32 {_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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  • Toni Diamond
    (DEM)

  • Candidate picture

    Becky Drury
    (REP)

  • Chris Johnson
    (REP)

  • Candidate picture

    James Preston
    (Dem)

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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I believe we have seen an uptick of South Dakotans (SD) and Americans buying local and American products. One example in SD is all the folks have turned to buying beef from local producers, produce from farmers markets and more than ever supported their hometown stores and restaurants. Without being told that we need to depend on each other we found creative ways to shop local, which benefits all of us.
We are fortunate to have quality education in South Dakota. Each school district has a school board, superintendent and staff that deem what is needed for their community. Not all schools offer the same classes or extra-curricular activities. Those decisions lie with each school. The Legislature voted to increase funding to 3% or the rate of inflation, which we have not done for the past two years. I would hope the Legislature would either follow the law or change it.
I served on the Rapid City Common Council 2017-2020. In South Dakota local governments have a tremendous amount of local control. At the City level we followed State Statutes, but were not impeded by the State. Maybe I am not understanding why this question is being asked.
I have not studied initiatives or referendums enough to suggest any changes. They are a way for the people of South Dakota to have a voice other than voting for their elected officials.
I would support a mix of legislatures and citizens to review the process.
The most important thing is to vote. I believe people know when elections are happening so they have time to register to vote in advance. Same day voting would add an extra burden on Election Day. We have a safe way of voting now. Online voting could open up the process to computer hacking. I have voted absentee and during this time when so many of our senior citizens are not allowed to leave their facilities I totally support absentee voting. If people want to vote absentee, then vote absentee. If people want to vote at the polls, then vote at the polls. But please vote and I would ask that you vote for Becky Drury in the District 32 House race. Thank you!
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Age 35
As a student of economics earning degrees in both International Affairs and Political Science, I know the importance of working together with our largest trade partners and the collective strength and security that those relationships provide. While many of the trade deals and responsibilities are delegated to Congress, inside South Dakota I know that we can equalize our playing fields and compete head on with global markets. There is reason to believe that South Dakota can become a new major producer, regionally and nationally, of energy from our abundance of renewable wind and solar resources and, now, due to the attrition of coal and COVID19 layoffs, we have an abundance of human capitol resources ready to work. COVID19 is a global reset. Thankfully, our state has some of the most integrated and vast broadband internet infrastructures in the Union. Therefore, we can attract more remote workers and leverage our lack of a state income tax to bring great jobs to this state.
We can start by listening to the experts and appropriating Federal funds accordingly. Recently, our Governor used Federal CARES Act dollars to supplement state police salaries while schools are over budget with COVID responses. That is not an appropriations I would sign off on considering the monies intent and shortfalls experienced right now. However, our state needs to continue to invest in teacher salaries and adapt to the needs of childhood development and working class families and provide Pre-K public education. As a father, there is nothing I will argue for more than developing a solid education as early as possible and begin the lifelong learning mentality. More importantly, the socializing aspects that small classrooms provide are shown to help kids develop earlier the critical socializing skills that will make them team players and critical thinkers later on. It is not unreasonable to provide additional public education and develop an adaptive curriculum based in fact/needs.
Local governments need empowerment to do the right thing that is crafted and specialized to their locality. South Dakota's Constitution allows for the Home Rule charters made up of independent boards. This is an interesting topic and as I have studied Dillon Rule states in the past, but there are particular items to consider, such as the regulations or directions local governments want to go and to what extent they are enabled to do so. Similar to the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution, home rule charters do not open up the floodgates of self-governance. However, here in South Dakota, we have 9 Sioux Nations that view the state government as simply a subdivision of the Federal government, similar to how South Dakota views municipalities as subdivisions of state government. Again, this is an incredibly interesting topic and although I am completely in the belief of empowering self-government, there are constitutional amendments that have to pragmatically be considered.
The recent Federal lawsuit finding a HB 1094, or IM 24, as unconstitutional is a great example of how difficult it is to stop democracy and the right for South Dakotans to petition, indifferent of the funds used to do so and the source of those funds. I know the system is not perfect, and many times initiative and referendum measures never see the light as it is inherently difficult for many of these processes to pass the vetting process amidst the number of hoops the People have to jump through. With a good dose of South Dakota sensibility and hard work, some of these make it through the process. However, my concern is with the use of legislators and their frequent visits to groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) or even the State Innovation Exchange (SiX). I believe the People should know who originally fostered some of the ideas behind the legislation and shine a light on legislators who choose to use these groups. Ideas for SD must originate in SD.
First of all, I 100% support an independent citizen redistricting commission and buy in 100% to the ideas that are widely shared by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gerrymandering where politicians choose their voters instead of voters choosing politicians is in my mind unconstitutional and an abhorrent affront to democracy. South Dakota is one of 7 states where the legislature draws the map it is safe to assume that the incumbent super-majority party has the clear advantage. South Dakota should absolutely allows an independent citizen redistricting commission to choose representation that is in line with the requirements of Sims vs. U.S. and demonstrating fair and equal representation. Considering that only a simple majority in each chamber is required to pass a redistricting plan, it is self-evident that the next map will be close to how the Associated Press once found true of the South Dakota state map as the "Most Gerrymandered State Legislature in the U.S."
I would start by guaranteeing them to our citizens of the Sioux Tribal Nations where most tribal members do not possess a state-issued ID, but instead carry a tribal-issued ID. These ID's will get tribal members onto airplanes and through security at Senate and Congressional office buildings in D.C., but will not get them a chance to be handed a ballot at the polls. This is a travesty and an injustice against American Indians in South Dakota, who many, due to the act of Congress in 1924 naming all tribal members American Citizens, are actually "First Generation Americans" if you can believe that. As far as absentee voting, we are lucky we have a large window to start voting and I think that allowing tribal IDs the validation that state IDs provide is a start. Same-day voter registration, if possible, would be a wonderful thing for those individuals who, due to particular circumstances, require flexibility in voter registration. Voting is an act of true patriotism we must promote.