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Kris Langer for Majority Leader?

Sen. Kris Langer, speaking to HB 1007, Senate floor. Screen cap from SDPB, 2018.02.27.
Sen. Kris Langer, speaking to 2018 HB 1007, Senate floor. Screen cap from SDPB, 2018.02.27.

A thought occurs to me.

The Senate Republican caucus has yet to elect its leadership. When the caucus gathers next week in Pierre (Tuesday, December 4, same day as Governor Dennis Daugaard’s farewell budget address—and I suspect we will be saying farewell to much when Governor-Elect Kristi Noem gets her hands on the budget), it will have a chance to show up its Democratic Senate counterparts and House Republicans by electing more women to leadership positions.

But what women could the Senate Republicans choose?

Out of 30 Senators-Elect, Republicans have just four women to choose from. One is a complete rookie, Margaret Sutton (R-10/Sioux Falls). Maybe Republicans can make her a whip, like Dems made rookie Erin Healy (D-14/Sioux Falls). One is a new transfer from the House, Lynne DiSanto (R-35/Rapid City). She’s a real pistol, and ALEC likes her a lot, so maybe she’s perfect for another whip position to make sure the Senate sticks with the corporate-fascist agenda.

The Republicans have two incumbent female Senators returning for 2019. Deb Soholt (R-14/Sioux Falls) is experienced and steady but maybe too moderate for a Republican Party eager to press the culture war to keep South Dakotans’ minds off practical matters and the moral failure of a party that supports an adulterous, bullying buffoon as President.

That leaves us with Kris Langer (R-25/Dell Rapids). She was a whip during the 2017-2018 term. Her experience and her conservatism (stronger, I would say, and hard-right conservatives would say, than Soholt’s) make her the most likely lady candidate for leadership. But how would she move up?

Republicans could make her assistant majority leader… but that would mean moving Ryan Maher (R-28/Isabel) out of that spot, which he held this term. Senator Maher did consort with his fellow cowboy Billie Sutton and other Democrats during the campaign, so maybe he’s got some uppance coming from his partisan colleagues.

But wait a minute: maybe Kristi Noem has some bigger fish to fry… or some sourer milk to Curdle.

R. Blake Curd (R-12/Sioux Falls) is the current Senate majority leader. He darn near lost his seat last month to a young first-time Democrat. And eight years ago, Curd dared campaign against Noem in her opening bid for Congress, and he backed Marty Jackley against Noem in this year’s gubernatorial primary. If you don’t think beauty queen Noem would enjoy knocking Curd down over those bits of opposition, you don’t know beauty queens.

How better to tweak everyone than by sending the signal to her fealtous Republican Senators-Elect that she’d like to see a woman leading their caucus? Tweak the Dems (again) for failing to elevate women to leadership before the misogynist Republicans do. Knock R. Blake Curd off his perch… and signal to any bitter Jackleyites or others plotting trouble within Republican ranks that Noem will remember and punish the smallest slights.

It’s just a thought.

Kristi and Kris. It sounds so nice. And with Kennedy working alongside her mom, that’s three K’s in a row. Perfect for the Republicans.


  1. grudznick 2018-11-28

    That’s a sweet thought, Mr. H, and certainly young Ms. Langer is very pretty and competent. But do you really think that a newly elected governor wants to wade into the internal politics of the legislatures and campaign or tell them who to elect for leadership? That would be asking for a lot of troubles, I tell you, as the caucuses would really frown on that just like how the newly elected young lady as the Governor would frown on the legislatures wading into telling her who she should appoint as the Secretaries Emerituses or whatever they are called.

    Ugly ground indeed. The legislatures would not like that kind of wading in, I assure you. No wading allowed, the caucuses would say.

  2. grudznick 2018-11-28

    I must surmise Mr. H actually supports the weak-vote-getting Mr. Dr. Curd for being the leader. I have already now gotten several electronic mails through the internet that question the ability of the messing within the caucuses. As this blogging came out in favor of the pretty young Ms. Langer and some spin off from that, the minions have rallied and are really lashing out. I would be surprised if Mr. Curd did not win in the private caucuses with an 80% winnership after Mr. H steered all the GOPers that way. Do you get a kickback, Mr. H?

  3. Steve Pearson 2018-11-29

    Corey, is Langer the most qualified for this role? Or is it just about gender? Because gender is fluid now and not a factor anymore biologically so why focus on gender? Why not pick who would be the best for the role?

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-11-29

    “Pick who would be best for the role”? Election Day showed us that’s not a criterion for South Dakota Republicans. Far be it from me to try imposing a new paradigm on them.

  5. leslie 2018-11-30

    Crickets eh, Pearson? Speaking of minority leaders and incompetency, trump loyalist Kevin McCarthy (Rep. CA) finally got the nod in the house GOP minority. This should be fun watching as the Trump Mob goes down during Kev’s “leadership”

  6. RJ 2018-11-30

    There isn’t a decent Republican in this state. Grudz…please stop talking about women in a creepy’s really uncomfortable and makes my skin crawl. Also Blake makes my skin crawl. Kasey is one of those wonderfully cool people that make you feel hope.

  7. mike from iowa 2018-12-01

    RJ, I am noted for bashing wingnuts in South Dakota, but there are some decent Republicans in that state, not the least would be bcb and John Tsitrian. (If you aren’t familiar with John T, check out his website The Constant Commoner in the sideboard)

    I distinguish between wingnuts and actual human beings with an R behind their names. I just don’t always make the distinction clear because there seems to be so few good Rs in Dakota.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-01

    But who says Kris Langer isn’t the best choice for majority leader? She’s tough. She’s experienced. She won handily in District 25 and thus has a stronger mandate to legislate than many of her colleagues. She can lead at least as well as Curd, has a less mockable name, and offers the GOP caucus a chance for a PR win over the Dems to boot.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-01

    Grudz, Noem totally would want to wade into the leadership fight. She has Speaker-in-Waiting Haugaard making noise about reclaiming Legislative strength, and she’s coming off an election in which she barely won a majority. She needs to act fast to shore up her power base and knock down any thoughts smart legislators may be having about taking advantage of this situation to assert their independence and take the initiative away from her office.

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