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New District 2 Leaves Power Vacuum for Second Schoenbeck in Legislature

The incumbent-stacking reconfiguration of District 25 left a representation vacuum in the previously much gerrymandered southeast corner of Minnehaha County. Sioux Falls eastside Districts 10 and 14 couldn’t expand to the Minnesota border, as they had to take on more compact footprints to reckon with growth in their own neighborhoods. The Sparrow map, drawn by the Senate and imposed upon a grudging House earlier this month, thus carved a new, nearly square district out of the southeastern eighth of Minnehaha County:

Old Legislative Districts for southeastern Minnehaha County, 2012–2020 elections.
Old Legislative Districts for southeastern Minnehaha County, 2012–2020 elections.
Sparrow Map, new District 2, southeastern Minnehaha County, with 2020 candidates' locations circled and a star for a special newcomer.
Sparrow Map, new District 2, southeastern Minnehaha County, with 2020 candidates’ locations circled and a star for a special newcomer.

District 25 moved north and west, while District 10 and District 14 both retreated to more compact areas closer to the heart of Sioux Falls. District 2 fills the gap left by those three districts, claiming a near square bounded by 258th Street on the north, Minnesota on the east, Lincoln County/57th Street on the south, and a bumpy western line sort of following 470th Avenue and Veterans Parkway, with an extra bite west to Sycamore Avenue between Madison and 18th Streets.

The new 2 is home to just one Republican incumbent, Representative Doug Barthel (see map, red circle), who currently serves District 10. Barthel’s current Housemate, Rep. Steven Haugaard, was pulled north to new 25 and is running for Governor. District 10’s Senator Maggie Sutton remains in the new 10. The other 25ers who currently represent southeastern Minnehaha are all from Dell Rapids and thus stay in new 25. None of the incumbents or 2020 contenders for District 14 live in the new 2. The only 2020 candidates remaining in the new 2 who could challenge Barthel are Brandon Democrats Michelle Hentschel and Nichole Cauwels.

District 2 takes its number from the sprawling rural northeastern district that Senate boss Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Watertown) wisely dissolved and dispersed into more compact districts. But where Lee’s lines have split the Greenfields, Lana and Brock, from their familial domination of old 2, the Sparrow map could bring the Schoenbeck family back together. On November 18, eight days after the Legislature approved the Sparrow map, the Secretary of State received a Statement of Organization from the Schoenbeck for House campaign. That’s Jacob Schoenbeck, good golfing son of Lee Schoenbeck, now happily ensconced under that red star on East 45th Street, less than a mile inside the new District 2 border.

According to the 2016–2018 stats on Dave’s Redistricting, the tool used by the Legislature to draw its maps, Jacob has the opportunity to run in a new District 2 that is 65.2% Republican. And with only one Republican incumbent in its sensible square boundaries, District 2 offers Jacob a clear path to join Dad in Pierre and establish Schoenbeckian dominion over both chambers. (The takeover could be complete if we could just get Lee’s daughter Erin to run for Governor….)


  1. Allen Jeris 2021-11-30 10:19

    Lee Schoenbeck is an arrogant crybaby that needs to ride off into the sunset. From calling his constituents “commies” and for being a tool bag for the trial lawyers, his moral compass just seems so distorted. I don’t know where his sons policies stand but if similar, I hope the people of that district don’t vote for that. Same goes for Doug Barthel.

  2. Erin Schoenbeck Byre 2021-11-30 10:32

    This Schoenbeck tool bag lawyer will not be running for anything, anytime soon :-).

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-30 13:18

    Erin, you know I will always subordinate partisanship to my ultimate goal of installing a debatocracy: all elected positions occupied by individuals who participated in high school debate!

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-30 13:20

    Allen, would you care to give examples of Senator Schoenbeck’s distorted moral compass?

    As for “arrogant crybaby,” what does Senator Schoenbeck have to cry about? He’s winning. The term you toss, Allen, seems to better describe the House radical right-wingers who couldn’t organize effective resistance to the Senate’s Sparrow map.

  5. Allen Jeris 2021-11-30 13:32

    Erin-never implied you were a “tool bag lawyer” nor did I refer to Lee as a tool bag lawyer. But when you voting record shows that the legislator supports government control over ones children. You might understand one day why it’s personal for me.

  6. Allen Jeris 2021-11-30 13:59

    Cory-not referring to any redistricting stuff. Only family issues.

  7. Nick Nemec 2021-11-30 21:43

    “Government control over ones children”, what does this even mean? Mandatory school attendance? Required vaccinations for dangerous disease?

  8. Allen Jeris 2021-12-01 10:56

    Nick-not pertaining to that. Essentially allowing judges to have unlimited discretion when it comes to custody and to take away that child’s right to equal access to both parents. Of course there are extenuating circumstances where it isn’t in the child’s best interest but outside of that, there is no reason that there can’t be consistency. They have weaponized the process and all for the SD Bar and trial lawyers association. It’s a trash process that dehumanizes parents and their children.

  9. Nick Nemec 2021-12-02 04:35

    I figured there was a possibility you were a disgruntled non-custodial parent who was angry about their child support payments.

  10. Nick Nemec 2021-12-02 04:44

    Allen, reread your first comment, “…and for being a tool bag for the trial lawyers, his moral compass just seems so distorted.” It sure looks to me that you called Schoenbeck a toolbar lawyer. He very well might be a toolbag lawyer but please don’t try to gaslight others by claiming, four comments later, you never wrote what you wrote.

  11. Allen Jeris 2021-12-02 11:42

    Tool bag “for” the trial lawyers. I can see how you can interpret as that. Maybe I should have just used the word “tool” or “key” or some other similar word. Also 50/50 parent and my issues do not relate to child support. I am just sick and tired of spending 25 thousand dollars every other year to defend my kids right to equal access to both parents. If I wasn’t upset with how the custody system works I probably wouldn’t have a soul. At the end of the day, just looking to continue to be a great dad and keeping the judiciary out of my parenting. (Unless there are extenuating circumstances of course).

    I emailed him professional emails a few times. Never heard back so I guess I just have to take the conversation public.

  12. Porter Lansing 2021-12-02 12:12

    I could assess that Lee Schoenbeck is a “toolbag” for the Catholic Church in their quest to disavow responsibility for child molesting priests but it’s Christmas season.
    My being a critical jackass won’t change Lee.
    His allegiance lies where it lies. (punster alert :) –

  13. Allen Jeris 2021-12-02 15:41

    Is that a dig at me? Or at Lee? Or both?

Comments are closed.