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Women Have Same Win Rate as Men in SD Legislative Primaries

Following up on my analysis last weekend of women running for Legislature, I am pleased to report that women fared as well as men in Tuesday’s Legislative primary races.

There 63 candidates vying for 36 available ballot slots in 24 Legislative primary contests. 37 of those primary candidates were men; 26 were women. 21 of those men and 15 of those women won spots on the November ballot. Male Legislative primary candidates had a 57% success rate, while their female candidates had a 58% success rate.

Seventeen of the 24 primary races had men and women vying for the same seats. In nine Senate races where voters could choose a man or a woman, six women prevailed. In eight girl/boy House races, 7 out of 13 women and 9 out of 12 men advanced.

In six three-way races that had two female candidates and one male candidate, the place order was W-M-W in four races (D-1 Dem Senate, D-13 GOP House, D-21 Dem House, and D-24 GOP House) and M-W-W in two (D-33 GOP House and D-34 GOP House).

In two three-way races with one women against two men, the female candidate placed first in one (D-32 GOP House, with STEMinist Scyller Borglum out-scoring a dead man and Ed Randazzo) and last in the other (D-25 GOP House, where Tamera Enalls lost to misogynist former legislator Jon Hansen and angry-dad incumbent Rep. Tom Pischke).

In the only four-way primary, Linda Duba was the only woman among four Democratic candidates for District 15 House. She earned a seat by placing second, behind Rep. Jamie Smith but ahead of former legislator Patrick Kirschman and newcomer Josh Reinfeld.

So with eleven women and sixteen men knocked out in the primary, plus one man (Rep. Leslie Heinemann) withdrawing after the primary, we’re down to 60 women and 144 men running for Legislature in the general election:

Party Sex House Senate SDLeg
Democrats F 26 13 39
M 41 21 62
Republicans F 16 4 20
M 47 29 76
Independents F 1 0 1
M 2 1 3
Libertarians F 0 0 0
M 3 0 3
All F 43 17 60
M 93 51 144

Because Districts 8, 27 and 32 have three female House candidates and because single-seat district 26B has two female House candidates, one woman from each district will lose on November 6, meaning that the highest number of female Representatives we could have in 2019 is 38, a slim majority in the 70-member chamber. That female majority would consist of at least 19 Democrats, 12 Republicans, and one independent, plus the winners of 8, 27, and 32 (each choosing among two female Democrats and one Republican) and 26B (one lady Dem versus one lady ‘Pub).

Because District 10 has two female Senate candidates, at least one is guaranteed to lose, meaning that the highest number of female Senators we could have in 2019 is 16, two shy of majority in the 35-member chamber. That 16-woman caucus would consist of twelve Democrats (and remember, we’re counting Mary Perpich as a Democrat), three Republicans (Soholt, Langer, and DiSanto), and the winner of the District 10 battle between Democrat Rachel Willson and Republican Margaret Sutton.

Two women secured their Legislative seats on Tuesday: Senator-Elect Susan Wismer in District 1 and Representative-Elect Linda Duba in District 15, both Democrats, face no general election opponents. They join two men in settled seats, unopposed Senator-Re-Elect Reynold Nesiba of District 15 and primary-winning Representative-Re-Elect Shawn Bordeaux in District 26A.


  1. Debbo 2018-06-09 20:53

    Good. Women have been very successful thus far across the country. I hope it continues.

  2. Roger Cornelius 2018-06-09 21:41


    Do you think the increase in the number of women running for office was the result of the Women’s March earlier this year?

  3. Debbo 2018-06-09 22:00

    I think few men understand just how incredibly outraged we are by pres Animal Sh*thole’s disregard for us and by the GOP’s disdain for our autonomy.

    When women get together and talk politics the rage and the tension that generates is palpable. It’s really an incredible experience and the most energizing situation I have encountered. It’s not just us, but the careless disregard of and danger to our children via guns, attacks on our health through male only studies, reproductive laws, birth control, on and on without end.

    We see idiots calling cops on black people and we see ourselves with men reigning in the little woman. We know that white men kill us both.

    It’s a thousand outrageous injustices all come to a head at once. While the level of outrage varies, it’s always there except among some far right sisters who are so thoroughly brainwashed they have no independent feelings.

    When men are present the temperature is lowered considerably so you’ll have to take my word for it. There is a lot of power flowing along with estrogen.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-10 07:25

    Roger, I’d suggest the marches and the candidates are both results of the outrage Debbo describes. I hope that outrage translates into women voting en masse for every candidate and measure on their ballot the represents a rebuke to Trumpism.

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