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Four Independents Running for Legislature

Three weeks ago I noted with dismay that the Secretary of State’s list of 2022 candidates showed only one independent running for any office in state government, Brian Burge of Marion seeking the District 16 Senate seat.

But then the SDGOP spin blog noticed that the Secretary of State decided to create a separate list of independent candidates. Why two lists exist is inexplicable: the regular, easier-to-use list of primary candidates includes Burge and several independent candidates for county offices. But apparently Secretary Steve Barnett decided to dump the rest of the independents on a separate, unfilterable, and messy PDF, in which candidates are grouped by office but are otherwise listed randomly, not ordered by last name, first name, filing date, or address.

Whatever whim possessed the Secretary to waste resources creating separate candidate lists, the indy list still shows no independents seeking statewide office but four independents seeking seats in the Legislature:

  • Brian Burge, Marion: District 16 Senate
  • Lora Hubbel, Sioux Falls: District 13 Senate
  • Calvin Reilly, Belle Fourche: District 28B House (single-seat district)
  • Susan Wismer, Britton: District 1 Senate

Former legislator and frequent fringe conservative candidate Hubbel will face incumbent Republican Senator Jack Kolbeck of Sioux Falls in the general election. Well-whiskered Reilly, who is Butte County’s first licensed medical marijuana dispenser, will face the winner of the District 28B Republican primary between former legislator Thomas Brunner of Nisland and Neal Pinnow of Lemmon. Former legislator Wismer, whom Secretary Barnett first certified then booted from the ballot as Democratic nominee for petition errors, will face the winner of the Republican primary between incumbent Senator Michael Rohl of Aberdeen and Joe Donnell of Sisseton.


  1. grudznick 2022-05-22 08:49

    Ms. Wismer is a failure of her own making. Mr. Reilly is a fine enough fellow, I’m sure. Ms. Hubbel is amongst the insanest of them all. Nobody know anything about this young Mr. Burge fellow who likely doesn’t matter. With the two fringiest women in South Dakota running and standing a good chance of getting into the legislatures the next set of sessions could be very entertaining indeed.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-05-22 09:11

    Cal Reilly attended St. Mary’s and graduated from Brookings High School but his late father was Elkton High School’s Superintendent.

  3. Cully Williams 2022-05-22 09:43

    The messy PDF is the work of Powers. The SOS doesn’t engage in such messiness. Link below is the link for the general election candidates. Once the primary is over, the primary winners will be migrated over I’m sure.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-05-22 10:46

    Cully, thanks for that link. Are you saying Powers created that PDF and that the SOS posted in on the official SOS website? The document properties say the indy PDF was created by Suzanne Wetz, an SOS elections program admin, on April 28.

  5. Mark Anderson 2022-05-22 17:31

    What is an independent in South Dakota? Not a Soros raving Democrat I’m sure. Are they mostly righter than right, which is an adapt description of most of them you listed. Democrats need to debate their opponents more. Facts really due matter.

  6. ABC 2022-05-26 07:19

    After the gun massacre in Uvalde, Republicans and !ibertarians are for the gun disease we have in the US.

    Democrats are doing a very weak job representing Center – Left voters.

    We need one or more Center-Left or Left Left parties that would be here permanently, always running Statewide and legislative candidates.

    I think the Alternate Political Party status is a win for all of us voters. How does that work, 3400 valid signatures first, then it is an alternate political party, if it gets more than 2.5% in any state wide race, then it becomes a major party?

    Wow. The time would right to get signatures and create a true Progressive Party !

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