Seven Independents (Two in Mock Quotes) Run for Legislature

The online candidate list isn’t updated, but Bob Mercer drops by the Secretary of State’s office and learns a few more Independent candidate petitions have trickled in. Besides the three Independent Legislative candidates whom I was able to count online Wednesday, Mercer reports four more aspirants to Pierre filling the big I:

  • Everette McKinley, Midland, District 27 House;
  • Tyler Swanger, Sioux Falls, District 14 Senate;
  • Matt Stone, Yankton, District 18 Senate;
  • LeRoy Kindler, Newell, District 29.

McKinley managed to win 8.3% of the vote as the Independent in the District 27 House race in 2014. Her entry makes District 27 House a five-way among Democrat chamber switcher Jim Bradford, Democrat Red Dawn Foster, Republican incumbent Elizabeth May, and Republican Steve Lvermont.

Flood action man Swanger sells cars. He challenges incumbent Republican Senator Deb Soholt, who otherwise was unopposed.

Matt Stone isn’t really an Independent. He’s the Yankton County Republicans’ late entrant to make up the party’s failure to find anyone by the March 29 party deadline to run against otherwise unopposed Democrat Craig Kennedy for the seat Bernie Hunhoff is vacating. Stone won the District 18 GOP Senate primary in 2014, then lost to Hunhoff 56% to 44% in the 2014 general.

Newell rancher Leroy Kindler may be another Gordon Howie-style Republican turned Indy. Whatever his real political inclination, Kindler spoils incumbent Republican Senator Gary Cammack’s unopposed return to the Senate. Kindler tried to beat Cammack in the 2014 three-way GOP primary and came in a distant second.

If we count converts Stone and Kindler, we have seven Indies vying for seats in Pierre. Updating my Wednesday numbers, we have one Independent Legislative candidate for every 15,573 registered Independent voters, compared with one GOP candidate for every 2,117 registered Republicans and one Dem candidate for every 1,946 registered Dems.