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Rohl, Olson, Big Aberdeen Money Join Schoenbeck in Drive to Boot Novstrup from Senate

Yesterday I documented 37 Republican candidates who have received money from Lee Schoenbeck’s campaign committees as part of his effort to stack the Legislature with more loyal lackies. Among those 37* is Rachel Dix, Senator Al Novstrup’s District 3 challenger:

Rachel Dix for South Dakota, District 3 Senate campaign pre-primary filing, individual contributions, filed 2022.05.23.
Rachel Dix for South Dakota, District 3 Senate campaign pre-primary filing, individual contributions, annotated by DFP, filed 2022.05.23.

Dix appears to misreport Schoenbeck’s contribution as an individual contribution rather than as a contribution from a candidate’s campaign committee. Novstrup could try to holler about Dix’s sloppy campaign finance compliance as a sign that she’d be a sloppy legislator, but I’m not sure Novstrup would want to bring much more attention to Dix’s campaign donors, since it shows Novstrup’s weakness among his own colleagues.

In addition to Schoenbeck, Novstrup’s and Dix’s Aberdeen neighbor and District 1 Senator Michael Rohl apparently would rather not see Al back in Pierre; Rohl appears to have given Dix $1,000 of his own money, not money from his campaign committee. Rapid City District 34 Representative Jess Olson also sent Dix $250 to help beat Novstrup.

Dix wins the support of major Aberdeen business figures like current Regent Jim Thares and former Regent Harvey Jewett. Novstrup’s former Republican Senate colleague from Hartford Deb Peters chimes in with $100 for Dix. The newcomer also gets support from Jonah McLaughlin, whose wife Leslie ran as a Democrat for District 3 House in 2020, and Bill Antonides, a Demcorat who ran against Al’s son David for District 3 House in 2012.

Novstrup could point out another error on Dix’s campaign finance report: she lists $1,000 from the Black Hills Home Builders Association as an individual donation instead of an entity donation. While such disclosure nitpicking might find an audience among Novstrup’s fellow radical right-wingers, it would also underscore the fact that Dix is getting support from serious Chamber of Commerce types who would like to see more support for solving South Dakota’s housing problems (and putting more money in their pockets).

Schoenbeck, Rohl’s, and Olson’s support pushed Dix to a total of $17,510 in individual contributions, 9.6 times more than the measly $1,820 in individual contributions Novstrup raised in the first four and a half months of 2021. Novstrup also loaned another $1,000 of his own go-kart money into his campaign. Novstrup topped Dix in political committee money, $3,400 to $2,300, but overall, Dix raised 3.5 times more money than Novstrup, $22,085 versus $6,220. Dix also outspent Novstrup $13,631.16 versus $9,068.07, and has more cash left in the kitty, $8,453.84 versus $781.72, to buy up every last page of the Aberdeen American News and every last minute available on KSDN AM 930.

*Correction 10:49 CDT:I originally reported that Schoenbeck’s $1,000 was an individual contribution to Dix; however, after Reviewing Schoenbeck’s and Dix’s filing, I determined that the $1,000 came from Schoenbeck’s candidate committee and thus was accounted for in yesterday’s report on the 37 candidates Schoenbeck is reporting. Dix apparently misreported Schoenbeck’s committee contribution as an individual contribution. I have rewritten this article to clarify the nature of that $1,000 contribution from Schoenbeck to Dix.


  1. Bob Newland 2022-05-26 11:54

    Good god! When folks like these don’t want your company any more, where do you go to find friends? Video lottery casinos?

  2. larry kurtz 2022-05-26 12:28

    It reads like the screenplay for Alien vs. Predator: 2022 init? Republican on Republican violence is a dish best served trolled.

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