When Patty Shiery told me that the 2012 Republican House speaker Val Rausch and her fellow Republican House caucus members laughed off Tiffany Campbell’s accusation that then-Rep. Gene Abdallah has sexually harassed Campbell, she indicated that she hoped to return to Pierre with other female candidates to correct the unhealthy culture of misogyny and intimidation.
True to her word, Shiery has taken out her petition and announced her candidacy for District 30 Senate:
Hello! I am Patricia Shiery and I am running for District 30 State Senate. As my campaign kicks off you will notice a difference in how I do things. I consider myself the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE, so my campaign is all about YOU, the people. I am more interested in peopletics than politics. I want to get to know you and what your concerns are, what you face on a daily basis, and what changes you want to see in Pierre. You can email me at Shiery.StateSenate@gmail.com with questions or comments [Patricia Shiery, campaign announcement, campaign Facebook page, 2018.01.02].
As her notarized nominating petition indicates, Shiery is seeking the Republican nomination for this seat. Incumbent Senator Lance Russell (R-30/Hot Springs) is not seeking to return to the Senate, choosing instead to seek the Republican nomination for Attorney General. As is the case in most of South Dakota’s 35 Legislative Districts, Republican candidates for Senate and House need 50 signatures to make the ballot.
Excellent! People running for office to change a bad system rather than to get a power position for their own ego. This is the right type to fix the system. Now we need to do the same thing about Washington.
When I first read that Ms. Shiery had encouraged Ms. Campbell to keep this harassment quiet when it happened, I was concerned that people like her are out there telling victims to “just deal” with things rather than to stand up to creeps and predators and criminals because it is easier and safer for a person’s career or ego to “just deal” than to make enemies or risk personal favor. However, in re-reading her comments since then, I think Ms. Shiery really is remorseful for that encouragement, and I believe she understands the importance of peer support for people going through difficult situations. I hope she will use that situation as a milestone in her political career – one that has taught her that integrity should not be negotiable, even (or especially) when the stakes are high. If she really is ready and willing to stand up to the ugly side of the establishment rather than turning a bling eye to it, I support her.
Given that Shiery broke the sanctity of caucus secrecy, she will need all the support of less partisan voters like Ryan that she can get.
Sometimes those who change their mind on this issue become the most vocal. I wish her the best.