Press "Enter" to skip to content

Islam Joins TenHaken, Zokaites in Sioux Falls Mayoral Contest

This should be fun—a woman of color whose religion and last name are Islam is running for arguably the second-most influential elected office in South Dakota:

Taneeza Islam announced her candidacy for Sioux Falls mayor Tuesday.

Islam, an immigration attorney and co-founder of SD Voices for Peace, and SD Voices for Justice is the first first-generation American-Muslim to run for citywide office. Islam made the announcement at Meldrum Park Tuesday afternoon.

Islam says those causes are part of the reason she’s running for office. During her announcement, Islam outlined some of the struggles she faced when she moved to the city in 2012. She also highlighted some of the areas she would like to address, like access to public services, food deserts within the city limits, and a voice for the city’s diverse community at the decision-making table [staff, “Taneeza Islam Announces Run for Sioux Falls Mayor,” KSFY, 2021.10.05].

Islam joins Republican golden boy and incumbent Jesus-y mayor Paul TenHaken and meditative martial artist (Shao-Lin Gaiaist?) David Zokaites as a declared candidate for chief executive of 21.7% of all South Dakotans.


  1. larry kurtz 2021-10-05

    Sibby must be spinning in his grave…oh, wait.

  2. Mark Anderson 2021-10-05

    Islam, TenHaken and Zokaities. There’s a song there for sure. At least a diversity in names. Republicans hate diversity.

  3. Lottie 2021-10-05

    How nice to know a woman of color is going to run for mayor. More power to her.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-10-06

    It’s too bad the mayoral vote happens in April with the runoff in May. If the mayoral vote happened in conjunction with the primary or the general, we’d have an opportunity for the immigrant vote that Islam will be aiming to turn out to influence the outcome of the Sioux Falls Legislative races and maybe even provide a big chunk of the 11,458-vote gap that separated Sutton from Noem in 2018.

  5. cibvet 2021-10-06

    A woman with no substance what so ever was elected governor. Perhaps a woman of color with substance can be elected mayor and not all of Sioux Falls inhabitants are total intolerant fools.

  6. DaveFN 2021-10-06

    Thanks for the TenHaken link. Not so much a critic of TenHaken as much as simply wondering about the theological questions he raises (or being pedantic, some might say, although I would beg to differ).

    1. “Or a more practical application, knowing that God is calling you and not doing it, that’s actually a sin. We often think of sins as stuff we do, but sins are also things we don’t do,” he said. “For me, that sin of inaction was the calling to run for office.”

    Sins of omission, sins of commission, as they are better–or were once–known.

    2. “The next sign of a calling is that God doesn’t necessarily call people who are equipped do something, TenHaken said. “He will give you what you need to fulfill that calling.””

    If God gives you what is required, isn’t one thereby equipped to do something?

    3. ““Your gut is the holy spirit,” TenHaken shared. “A lot of times you hear people say, ‘follow your gut,’ and if you’re a person of faith, it’s the Holy Spirit.”

    Did not know that. An curious biological twist on the Holy Spirit. The January 6, 2021 insurrectionists were viscerally “following their gut” also.

    4. “God wasn’t calling me to be the mayor, he was calling me to run for mayor.”

    Did God at some point in time call him to actually be mayor, or not? Why or why not? Has Paul yet to accede to the function for which he ran?

    Perhaps he’ll reply at the next prayer breakfast.

  7. ArloBlundt 2021-10-06

    well…I think Mayor of SiouX Falls is a more complicated and challenging job than Governor of South Dakota even US Senator. I hope a large number of talented people run in the primary. By the way, it has never been a stepping stone to any other political office, to my memory.

  8. 96Tears 2021-10-07

    Arlo – Gary Hanson went from mayor of Sioux Falls to landing a seat on the S.D. Public Utilities Commission, which is the political graveyard for people who thought they were prime gubernatorial material but realized they needed to bargain down to keep those government paychecks coming. Hanson’s the fossil of the threesome and has become terribly curmudgeonly in his doddering senior years. He coulda been somebody.

  9. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2021-10-07

    “… landing a seat on the S.D. Public Utilities Commission, which is the political graveyard for people who thought they were prime gubernatorial material but realized they needed to bargain down to keep those government paychecks coming….”

    Boy, if that isn’t true, I don’t what is. ;-) LOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *