Press "Enter" to skip to content

Dakotafest Schedules Town Halls for Williams and Hawks

Dakotafest caught some heat for scheduling a Congressional roundtable solely our D.C. incumbents instead of hosting debates between the two Republican incumbents on the ballot and their Democratic challengers. Responding to that heat, the big Mitchell ag show has now scheduled a “town hall” meetings for Democratic candidate for U.S. House Rep. Paula Hawks and Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate Jay Williams. Williams gets a half-hour at the Reaves I&TC podium on Thursday, August 18 at 10 a.m.; Hawks follows Williams immediately thereafter. The challengers’ town halls take place a day after the Wednesday morning “Check-in from Washington, DC.”

Hey, Dakotafest: I think you got the vowels out of order in checkin.

Rep. Hawks, who has been beating Rep. Kristi Noem up for abandoning South Dakota’s place on the House Agriculture Committee and going weak on country-of-origin labeling, is grateful for the opportunity to speak to ag voters:

I’d like to thank Dakotafest for allowing me the opportunity to address the crowd and speak to the concerns many of our farmers and ranchers have regarding the direction of agriculture in South Dakota. While I am disappointed Noem won’t debate at the event, I am excited to lay out my vision for South Dakota agriculture and answer questions from the audience [Hawks for House, press release, 2016.07.25].

Hawks and Williams are both in Philadelphia right now for the Democratic National Convention.


  1. mike from iowa 2016-07-25

    I think the Bobsey triplets from DC have some serious ‘splaining to do about how they can consciously back Drumpf’s vision of Drumpftatorship. Plus groping his daughter every chance he gets. EWW!

  2. Greg 2016-07-25

    I’m not saying that Thune and Noem shouldn’t debate, but DakotaFest debates are overrated. It would be interesting to see Hawks debate Noem as I think Hawks would be a good replacement for Noem. Williams on is a weak candidate and will not really challenge Thune.

  3. Roger Cornelius 2016-07-25

    South Dakota republicans that represent us and refuse to debate are cowards, but sooner of later they won’t be able to hide from the citizens of this state and should be held accountable for their cowardice.

  4. owen reitzel 2016-07-25

    Thune and Noem are afraid to debate. How do you defend their support for Trump.
    Thune says the election will be about the economy. Really? You want to actually go there John?
    Thune can say that as long as he wants as long as he doesn’t debate.

    And Noem? Well Noem is Noem

  5. Moses11 2016-07-25

    Thune the same guy who wanted Daschle to debate all the time.This would be a chance for him for photo ops.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-26

    Greg, what makes Dakotafest debates “overrated”?

  7. Greg 2016-07-27

    Cory, have you ever been to Dakotafest? These debates are held under a open tent that has very poor audio. You cannot hear from competing noise and it is usually very hot in those tents. The Thursday forum is on the last day when there is a small crowd. This years crowd will be smaller yet due to a poor Ag economy with low commodity prices and very little interest in new machinery.

  8. Paul Seamans 2016-07-27

    Will there be a debate at the State Fair? These are much better than the Dakotafest forums.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-28

    Ah, so it’s not the content of the debates, just the conditions? Come on: can’t farmers and ranchers handle a little heat and noise?

    I attended the 2014 Dakotafest debates for the Senate and Governor candidates. I sat in the middle of the crowd in the SDSU tent and could hear just fine.

    If the last day draws the smallest crowd, then the Dakotafest sponsors have done a disservice to the voters by putting the challengers on the lower-attendance day. That’s why we should have debates: opposing candidates appear on the same stage, in front of the same audience, under the same conditions (same heat, noise, wind, whatever).

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-28

    Paul, Kristi Noem hasn’t debated at the State Fair since Stephanie Herseth Sandlin whipped her in 2010. I doubt Kristi will come back to face a schooling from Paula Hawks. Chicken!

  11. Robert McTaggart 2016-07-28

    There will be chicken at the State Fair ;^) ?

  12. mike from iowa 2016-07-28

    Mr McTaggart- if you decided to use Cornish broiler chicks as the proverbial canary in a coal mine, and you needed to wait exactly 56 days before you can use them, how in the devil would you stuff a potential 8 plus pound chicken down a 4 inch borehole? Inquiring iowan would like to know.

  13. mike from iowa 2016-07-28

    ps- welcome back.

  14. Robert McTaggart 2016-07-28

    Thanks Mike,

    To answer your question, you make chicken nuggets or chicken fingers first, and then put that down the borehole.

  15. Robert McTaggart 2016-07-28

    Debates at these forums and State Fairs in general are really about celebrating the state and its people. Why wouldn’t any candidate be interested in that?

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-29

    Bingo. It’s always hot, noisy, crowded, hard to hear, whatever at these big outdoor festivals. Those mildly uncomfortable conditions are far less important than the benefits of celebrating democracy by bringing our candidates out to take voter questions and speak on important issues.

  17. mike from iowa 2016-07-29

    Imagine if the founding fathers put off debating important issues of the day until someone invented air conditioning and crowd control.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.