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State Representative District 6 {_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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  • Candidate picture

    Aaron Aylward
    (REP)

  • Candidate picture

    Cody Ingle
    (DEM)

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    Ernie Otten
    (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?

Currently, the biggest issue facing South Dakota is the economy and unemployment that has come from the reaction to COVID-19. With the loss of certain business, we need to look at different ideas to help bring markets back into full swing, allow new markets to rise, and in turn improve the employment rate. As a legislator, I do plan on helping to improve the overall economy of South Dakota. This will include everything from working on occupational licensing reform for certain professions, to lowering the bar of entry for small businesses that want to set up shop within the state.
For the last number of years we’ve had a budget surplus, and I'd argue that the state government could be more efficient with the tax dollars that people pay in. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good to have a bit of a surplus, but with how large that surplus has been, we could cut inefficiencies where the private market can take over, and also improve the opportunity for school choice for those who do not want to use the public schools. I do think that charter schools and a voucher system is a step in the right direction. It seems that school districts could change up the way in which they use their tax dollars. Let’s make some assessments with our current budget and see where we can make some improvements with the current education system in South Dakota.

We should also focus our attention on what’s important to South Dakota and do away with any federal testing of any kind. Let’s listen to the teachers and families, and keep our own standards for the people of South Dakota.
Think local. Act local. This is a motto that I firmly believe in, and I also strongly favor the principle of subsidiarity. Every individual knows what's best for their own life as does each community within the state. As a legislator, I would help remove burdens that may be placed on local governments and counties so that they can run their communities the way they see fit. With that being said, I also believe that the job of a state legislator is to help protect the rights of individuals within the said state. If a local government is infringing upon the rights of people and businesses within the state, it's the state legislatures job to help remove those burdens. If we reduce burdens at the state level, local governments will thrive that much more!
I am in favor of the initiative and referendum process in South Dakota. However, I was also in favor of Amendment X that was voted on back in 2018, and I think it should take a super majority for something to pass into law. Yes, this makes it difficult to get something into law, but, keep that in mind when something gets on the ballot that you do not favor. It should be difficult and take strong support of the population to pass something into law.
I am indifferent with this to a certain extent. Even if we ended up with an independent citizen commission performing this task, I don't think the outcome would be much different. This is a very Republican and limited government state, no matter how we decide to separate the districts. Also, I don't think that we should be using tax dollars to form a new independent commission. If the people want this, then we need to find a different way to fund it.

I would absolutely support an online voter registration process and I believe that we can do it while protecting rights. Nebraska has a pretty slick process when it comes to this and I believe that we could mimic what they have. As long as we have the correct checks and balances with this process and people are providing the correct documentation, I see no issue with this.
State Legislature needs to think of a way to bring in revenue to the state--and not at the expense of any South Dakotan. One of the best ways to do this would be the legalization of marijuana in the State of South Dakota, which is something that I support. This would allow the state to bring in money from the sale of marijuana, as well as regulate the distribution of it.

It will also be important to look at the expenses of the state and where the money is going, and re-direct some of those funds to the areas of the state that need it most.
Public Education needs to be at the forefront of South Dakota. We must provide quality education for ALL children, and there are many step that need to happen for equitable and quality education. Some ideas I have are ensuring that LGBTQ+ children have the same rights and same treatment in every single public school (and hopefully private) in the state. We also need to ensure that BIPOC children are being given the same opportunity. We need to ensure that educators are supported in all manners, so that they can address the needs of their students. The future of education lies in the hands of our educators (not our legislators), so we as legislators need to do all we can to support them. This includes increasing funding for public education and for teacher salaries.

We also must ensure that quality and diverse sexual education is happening in public schools. These ideas of abstinence only education are outdated.
Counties, cities and school boards should have the right to make decisions for their localized areas. I cannot speak to what Turner County needs might be as well as the local government or school board might be able to. It is important that we allow those local governments to make informed decisions about the needs of their communities--and I believe that legislators must defend and ensure the rights of those local governments.

Now, this does come with a caveat. I also think it is the responsibility of the state legislature to
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