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Inspiration: Bennet Wants to Follow in Billie’s Wheel-Tracks

Billie Sutton is closing his final barnstorming speeches with a story that speaks to his ability to inspire South Dakota:

Billie Sutton and a lot of inspired South Dakotans in Webster, campaign FB photo, 2018.11.03.
Billie Sutton inspiring a lot of South Dakotans in Webster, campaign FB photo, 2018.11.03.

Near the end of his speech, Sutton said that he is often asked about the “best part” of what he is doing. He talked about a picture a friend texted him for Halloween.

“It was of a young man named Bennet, 7 years old. He has spina bifida and he’s in a wheelchair,” said Sutton, who was paralyzed in a rodeo accident seven years ago. “He went to Halloween today at his school as Billie Sutton. His mom posted that he wanted to be governor someday” [Cora Van Olson, “Sutton Kicks Off ‘Dakota Strong’ Tour,” Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2018.10.31].

Here’s the Facebook post that launched this story:

Jill Irwin, Facebook post, 2018.10.31.
Jill Irwin, Facebook post, 2018.10.31.
Photo of Bennet by his mom, Jill Irwin, Facebook, 2018.10.31.
Photo of Bennet, post by Jill Irwin, Facebook, 2018.10.31.

A vote for Billie is a vote for Bennet, a vote for all of South Dakota.

Related: If Bennet’s Halloween costume and story don’t inspire, check out the Liam Sutton’s Halloween pitch for his dad:

Honorary campaign manager Liam, Sutton campaign Facebook, 2018.10.31.
Honorary campaign manager Liam, Sutton campaign Facebook photo, 2018.10.31.


  1. 96Tears 2018-11-04 08:07

    Billie Sutton as Governor would no doubt be as inspiring as his campaign messages have been. Strong. Positive. Encouraging. They symbolize the kind of place we would all like South Dakota to be. The fact that a boy with spinal bifida sees something of himself in Billie speaks volumes about how Billie’s message and persona ring true with voters of all persuasions.

    People, we know integrity when we see it. In 2018’s politics, it’s a welcomed sight.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-11-04 14:36

    We know integrity when we see it. Apparently, kids like Bennet do, too.

  3. Debbo 2018-11-04 15:18

    Very sweet. The opportunity to inspire another to be more is… Well, what could be more humbling and wonderful?

    It’s a great time to vote for an inspiration SD. Don’t miss your chance.

  4. mike from iowa 2018-11-04 17:17

    Speaking of inspirational stories, I can help but remember Cadet Bone Spurs plaintive tale of how he suffered his own VietNam dodging stds and the women who had them on the front lines of draft dodgers in the 60’s.

    Tears were flowing, I tell you.

    Seriously, wingnuts need to look long and hard at Bennet and his situation, because their no health insurance plan does not cover pre-existing conditions and if wingnuts get their cuts to Medicare/Medicaid wheelchairs will probably not be provided either. Get yer duff out there and vote as if the whole world depends on defeating Drumpf and goons because it may well come down to that. Vote Tuesday, if not sooner!

  5. T 2018-11-04 19:21

    Well the opponent is nervous.
    I got email and phone call to rsvp at pfence party tomorrow
    Graham cracker and Another guy also coming to big event
    How much is this costing the tax payers, I mean the under table dealings ………….to make a show in SD

    Stories like this kid are more inspiring

  6. T 2018-11-04 19:24

    Disclaimer gram cracker not to be confused with “cracker” no racial intent

  7. jimmy james 2018-11-05 15:49

    It’s going to be a great Wednesday morning if we wake up to a Governor Sutton. Young Bennet’s endorsement means more to me than Mike Pence’s nod.

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