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Republican Voters Reject Three Noem Appointees

Update 19:07 CDT: Somehow over breakfast, I missed Noem-appointee loss #3, JD Wangsness!

Kristi Noem has used her gubernatorial power to appoint seven new Republicans to the Legislature: Dayle Hammock, Rhonda Milstead, JD Wangsness, Jessica Castleberry, Marty Overweg, Helene Duhamel, and Lynn Schneider. (Two of those appointments came from Nome promoting two loyal members, Kyle Schoenfish and John Lake, from House to Senate.) Five of those appointees faced primary challenges yesterday; only two survived.

As mentioned earlier, Rep. Dayle “Sinkhole” Hammock got walloped in District 31, finishing fourth in a five-way race. Rep. Overweg lost in District 19, though not by as much and not for sure: by last night’s count, he’s only 21 votes—0.28 percentage points—behind second-place finisher and newcomer Jessica Bahmuller. And Rep. J.D. Wangsness saw his pro-CAFO patronage appointment come to a quick end at the hands of seatmate Rep. Spencer Gosch and the most interesting man in Eureka, Charlie Hoffman.

Rep. Castleberry managed an easy win in her first election, prevailing 72% to 28% in District 35 over Kevin Quick, whose background made him an ineffective challenger.

Minnehaha County is still counting its ballots (yes, even as I update after 7 p.m. Wednesday), so we don’t know for sure if Rep. Milstead will make the November ballot, but Milstead is ahead in every precinct that has reported as of breakfast-time today. Besides, with her name recognition (she’s a Sioux Falls entrepreneur, and her husband, Mike, is Minnehaha County Sheriff), she could win a District 9 primary with or without Noem’s crutch.

So in three of the four final results so far, Republican voters looked at Kristi’s pick and said they could do better. What does that say about confidence in Noem’s leadership?


  1. mike from iowa 2020-06-03 08:18

    In iowa, Grudzilla’s favorite goat in nw iowa lost his primary and will no longer be a total embarrassment to iowans. Yup, “Cantaloupe Calves” King is no longer congressweasel king.

  2. BHSD76 2020-06-03 10:48

    Many of us in District 31 are thankful that Hammock is gone in the House and even more thankful Tim Johns beat John Teupel in the Senate race, but Mary Fitzgerald isn’t a huge improvement over Hammock. Brooke Abdullah (D) is running in the general election against Scott Odenbach (R) and Mary Fitzgerald (R) in the House race. Although a D winning in District 31 is a long shot I would prefer to see Brooke and Scott win in the general election. Brooke is a good candidate and worth donating to if you want to help out.

  3. Owen 2020-06-03 17:21

    Jessica Bahmuller is the daughter of Arch Beal. She’s conservative but a good person and someone who I’m sure I can have a good conversation with. Better than Overweg.

  4. John 2020-06-03 17:45

    Wagner’s got crushed also—-#3 of Gov picks to go down

  5. leslie 2020-06-03 17:52

    Beal, old time Duhamel lawyer.

  6. Robin Friday 2020-06-03 18:51

    And what about Qualm? Was it all about vaccinations?

  7. Porter Lansing 2020-06-03 19:22

    HELLO, FREE PRESSERS 😁 Hoping all are well and healthy. This deer recipe rolled off my creativity, today and DFP is the place I’d like to share it with y’all. It’s perfect bar food and your state has some mighty perfect bars. It uses Stace’s State Nosh as well as your surplus of corn fed venison. Please, ENJOY


    For the venison chislic:
    3/4 pound venison skirt steak or venison flank steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    For the beer cheese:
    4 ounces cream cheese cut into medium small squares
    1/3 cup South Dakota brewed beer
    2 cups finely shredded sharp Wisconsin cheddar (about 8 ounces)
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon German grainy mustard
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon hot, smoked paprika
    kosher salt
    For the garnish:
    diced and rinsed yellow onion
    diced tomato
    smashed garlic
    chopped cilantro
    lime juice from one lime
    salt and pepper

    1. Add venison steak to a medium bowl, and toss with the next eight ingredients until thoroughly coated. Let marinate at room temperature while you prepare the remaining components.

    2. Making the beer cheese sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the cream cheese over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add the beer in a slow stream, whisking until smooth. Allow the foam to sink, then decrease heat to low and add the cheddar cheese a bit at a time, whisking until smooth before adding the next bit. Once all the cheese is in, whisk in the Worcestershire, mustard, garlic powder and paprika. Season to taste with salt, cover and set aside over a double boiler of hot water. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

    3. Prepare the garnish: In a small bowl, stir together chopped and rinsed yellow onion, cubed tomato, garlic, and cilantro. Add lime juice and salt and pepper to meet your taste. Set aside.

    4. Make the chislic: Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high. Add the meat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and the sauce reduces to a glaze, 3 to 5 minutes.

    5. Arrange cooked, freshly cut french fries on a serving platter in an even layer, and drizzle beer cheese on top to taste. Top with the venison chislic and onion-tomato-cilantro salsa. Serve with lime wedges and Hellman’s mayo on the side.
    © porterHG

  8. jerry 2020-06-03 19:25

    Porter, we missed ya man! Hope you had a good vacation.

  9. Porter Lansing 2020-06-03 20:02

    Thanks, old friend Jerry. One thing for sure in this crazy year. Nobody needs to experience my opinionated ass. See you after the election.

  10. mike from iowa 2020-06-03 20:12

    Porter, you need to be punished for leaving your friends here in the dark for such a long time. I will pardon you and you won’t have to campaign fopr me, either. Welcome back.

  11. John 2020-06-03 20:28

    Perhaps our brown nose snow queen will seek hosting the homeless Republican National Convention at Smithfields in Sioux Falls. Alternatively, perhaps Iowa’s Noem wannabe Reynolds could host the RNC national trump love fest at the Tyson plant in Storm Lake.

    Did you notice the Sesame Street meme announcing the the Year 2020 is brought to you by the letters W, T, and F.

  12. Porter Lansing 2020-06-03 20:55

    Hi, Mike. I think about the blogsters, all the time. 👍🏻 Be safe, brother.

  13. Debbo 2020-06-04 00:10

    Hi Porter. Missed you and hope you are well.

  14. Porter Lansing 2020-06-04 05:47

    Hi, Debbo – Miss you, too. I’m approaching my peak. Thanks for asking. Colorado Department of Health recommendation is for seniors to shelter in place all summer so that’s what I’ll do. In a metaphysical sense, the pandemic is Nature demanding that the world slow down and I believe it to be foolish not to listen. Love ‘ya. ❤️

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-06-04 06:23

    Robin, I’m not sure if Qualm’s anti-vaxxer bill was all of it. It certainly got her attention and was an easy issue to make into a brief pitch, but something else had to be going on to get the GOP establishment to turn on their House Majority Leader. Lee Schoenbeck and Harvey Jewett didn’t each throw a thousand dollars against every wingnut in the primary.

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