District 3 voters have a clear choice on equality and inclusion in their Senate race. In its new 2016 Voters Guide, the Equality South Dakota Political Action Committee endorses me over my opponent, Rep. Al Novstrup. EqSD PAC endorses me based on my “positive” responses to the candidate survey they sent out earlier this summer. Below are EqSD’s four survey questions, with my responses in bold:
I’m proud to have Equality South Dakota’s PAC endorsement. I look forward to fighting for equality for all South Dakotans in the Senate during the 2017 Session.
Rep. Novstrup apparently did not respond to EqSD’s survey, but his anti-equality voting record and public statements speak for themselves. On the two discriminatory bills EqSD spotlights in its survey, this year’s HB 1008 and HB 1107, Rep. Novstrup voted for discrimination and inequality every chance he got, including his futile vote against the Governor and the bill sponsor to override the Governor’s veto of the potty bill.
EqSD issues no recommendation on the District 3 House race. Evidently none of the four candidates, not even my Democratic colleagues Brooks Briscoe and Nikki Bootz, responded to the EqSD survey. Briscoe, Bootz, and Republican Drew Dennert are all newcomers with no voting record. Incumbent Rep. Dan Kaiser missed all but the last day of the 2016 Session, so he has no recorded position on this year’s potty bill or the discriminate-for-Jesus bill. However in the 2015 Session, Rep. Kaiser voted for the anti-transgender and anti-SDHSAA HB 1195 and SB 140.
EqSD PAC’s complete voting guide endorses 44 Legislative candidates: 36 Democratic, 8 Republican. 45 candidates, all Republicans, get EqSD’s explicit non-recommendation. EqSD leaves blank 75 no-info candidates: 42 Dem, 28 GOP, and 5 independent. EqSD gives 11 candidates—1 Dem, 9 GOP, and 1 indy—a “neutral” rating based on “mixed” voting record and/or survey responses.
Only five candidates with voting records responded to the survey. Of those five, only Rep. Dan Dryden (R-34/Rapid City) had different ratings, with a “mixed” voting record but a “positive” survey response. That was enough to earn him EqSD’s recommendation. EqSD also recommends Rep. Dryden’s fellow District 34 GOP House candidate Senator Craig Tieszen. Their Democratic challenger, Steve Stenson, did not respond to the survey and thus is left blank.