Cue reduced gloating from the GOP spin blog: South Dakota Democrats have managed to fill six of the eight Legislative ballot positions from candidates have withdrawn. According to Bob Mercer, the only new vacancies left unfilled by Dems are District 5 House and Senate slots abandoned by Alanna Silvis and David Johnson. KWAT reports that no one filed papers with Codington County auditor before the replacement deadline, but I’m not sure that matters: replacements for legislative candidates file with the Secretary of State, who then certifies legislative candidates to the county auditors by the third Tuesday in August, the same deadline as for certifying ballot questions. If Codington County Democrats did name replacements, they could have sent those names to Pierre by registered mail Tuesday… but as of yesterday, the Secretary’s office had found no such treat in the inbox.
Even without Silvis or a replacement, there will still be a vote in the District 5 House race: Republicans Hugh M. Bartels and Nancy York still have to wrassle Democratic candidate Michele “Shelly” Alvine* and remind their neighbors not to slip and check Independent crank Charles “Chuck” Haan.
But barring mail surprises today, the Senate seat is decided: conservative Republican Neal Tapio will assume Ried Holien’s seat next January. And who better than a Republican who faces no challenge in November to be the South Dakota face of Donald Trump? The GOP spin blog reports that Tapio has been chosen to be the South Dakota State Director for the Trump Pence campaign. According to a Facebook screenshot offered by DWC, Tapio says he “will be happy to explain why Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.”
Compounding Watertown’s horror, Ried Holien says he’s sticking with Trump as well:
“When Republicans play nice and lose the presidential elections or very big elections I don’t like seeing that because we have serious issues to face,” Holien said. “Playing nice didn’t do any good for (John) McCain or (Mitt) Romney, so at least Trump is a fighter. If he’s going to stand up for himself, he’s going to stand up for America” [Anne Burleson, “Watertown’s Republican Sen. Ried Holien Supports Trump in Race,” Watertown Public Opinion, 2016.08.11].
Watertown, what mind-altering chemicals are seeping out of Lake Kampeska into the city water supply? We’ll keep Trump out of the White House, but when will you stop sending Trumpists to Pierre? (And Codington County Democrats, when will you find the challengers tough enough to take the Trumpists out?)
Correction 15:25 CDT: Oh! Shame on me! As Codington County Democrat Kay Solberg rightfully upbraids me, I missed Shelly Alvine’s name still hanging tough on that candidate list. I am very sorry, Shelly, to have left you out! Go get ’em… and hang their unopposed Senator’s mad Trumpiness around their necks!