I can rouse some faint pleasure at the defeat of certain Republican yahoos in yesterday’s primary. Faint, faint pleasure.
Republican voters chose to replace three Noem appointees, Rep. Marty Overweg* (R-19/New Holland), Rep. Dayle Hammock (R-31/Spearfish), and Rep. J.D. Wangsness (R-23/Miller), so yay for weak gubernatorial pull (maybe she should have dropped their names in all of her Fox News spots). But the challenger who edged Overweg for second place in the District 19 House primary, Jessica Bahmuller, is just as eager as anyone to treat guns like a central value in modern life. One of Hammock’s vanquishers, Scott Odenbach, is all about Rush Limbaugh and Jesus. Mary Fitzgerald at least raises buffalo and torques Pat Powers off, so she can’t be all bad.
*Recount Correction 2020.06.28: The June 22 recount saved Overweg, as the auditor in his home county of Douglas discovered 51 more votes for him that hadn’t been counted on election night and single-handedly flipped the result in Overweg’s favor.
Republican money ousted some Republican monkeys. Rep. Doug Post (R-7/Volga) won’t get to misrepresent Brookings again, but he lost only because the GOP establishment rallied to bring back former long-time legislator Larry Tidemann. The GOP powers that be rallied similarly behind Rep. Herman Otten (R-6/Tea) to secure his nomination for the District 6 Senate seat and remove the radical misogynist scourge of Rep. Isaac Latterell (R-6/Tea) from the Legislature. Erin Tobin tucked the same money men (Jewett, Schoenbeck) at the bottom of her pre-primary campaign finance report, but she also used a groundswell of District 21 support, plus $500 from the teacher’s union, to oust anti-vaxxer House Majority Leader Lee Qualm (R-21/Platte).
Plodding polluter Senator Jeff Monroe (R-24/Pierre) can finally do what a friend once told me she’d tell him to do right off into the sunset, as enemy of ballot measures Will Mortenson and fellow boring establishment man Mike Weisgram blocked Monroe from escaping his Senate term limits in the House primary.
Schadenfreude is a dull companion. Voters pried a few knuckleheads out of public service last night, but the replacements they picked don’t promise much better government.
Tangential Bittersweet Defeat: In a diversion from my title, here in District 3, no local Republicans were on the partisan ballot, so there wasn’t much Republican-on-Republican violence to hope for. But in the non-partisan contest for a southeast ward City Council seat, District 3 Senator Al Novstrup, District 3 Representative Carl Perry, and Republican fawn-boy and corrupt mayor Travis Schaunaman threw their weight behind “constitutionalist” and local corruption excuser Dave Welling, a Republican who came in third in a three-way race. Alas, the Schaunamaniacs still got rid of the councilman who spoke out quite forcefully against Mayor Schaunaman’s self-serving bid for the city branding contract, Dennis “Mike” Olson, another Republican, and replaced him with the marketer who won that taxpayer-funded contract, Tiffany Langer, an independent, with this underwhelming participial font-mess. Final results: Langer 36.7% (422), Olson 33.4% (384), Welling 30.0% (345).