We won’t have Fred Deutsch to kick around next year. The Florence chiropractor has changed his mind about seeking reëlection to his District 4 House seat:
Rep. Fred Deutsch said Monday that he won’t run in the District 4 election in November at the request of his wife.
“My wife asked me to hang close to home so we can focus on my chiropractic practice,” Deutsch said Monday.
The Florence Republican said he and his wife had been working to fill the void after a long-time business manager at their chiropractic clinic in Watertown left his role there earlier this year [Dana Ferguson, “Lawmaker Who Pushed Bathroom Bill Won’t Seek Re-Election,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.04.18].
Dang—it looks like the Republicans will have to find someone else to push their kamikaze culture war against transgender students. And it looks like I’ll have to find a different Legislator with whom to bike out to the Oahe Dam during Session next year.
Rep. Deutsch’s departure leaves District 4 with only one Republican candidate, Jason W. Kettwig of Milbank, against two Democrats, Peggy Schuelke of Revillo and Matt Rosdahl of Clear Lake. The Republicans have the opportunity to appoint a replacement candidate to bring their District 4 House slate back to full strength. The party committees of Brookings, Codington, Deuel, and Grant counties have until August 9 to name someone to take Deutsch’s place. Of course, Rep. Deutsch wouldn’t want that. Last year, he voted for 2015’s Senate Bill 69, the Incumbent Protection Plan, which included Senator Corey Brown’s mean-spirited provision to forbid replacing withdrawn candidates unless the withdrawn candidate moves away, gets another political office, dies, or provides a doctor’s note saying he or she is too sick to serve (see my guide to SB 69). The Brown Amendment to SB 69 didn’t think “my wife asked me” was good enough reason to withdraw and replace a candidate, so surely Deutsch, a man of conscience and principle, will ask his local party officials not to name a replacement.
Luckily for District 4 GOP officials, Senate Bill 69 did not take effect. My Democratic friends and I stopped SB 69 from taking effect by successfully placing the Incumbent Protection Plan on this year’s ballot as Referred Law 19. District 4 Republicans thus retain the ability to fill placeholder Fred Deutsch’s spot with an active candidate, and Fred Deutsch can quit without the guilt of leaving his party with an empty slot.
You’re welcome, Fred.